It has been a hot topic for farmers to contend with in recent years. Unfortunately there is great confusion caused by 'half truths' and mis-information pedalled by minority groups. Please read on to understand the very real challenges that we as farmers face on a daily basis.
Every decision made at farm level must be based on the impending financial outcome. If we as farmers take actions that will knowingly 'LOSE' money - or are forced by external regulations or lobby groups to do so, the viability of the farm itself is jeopardised. I can tell you from first hand experience, that as farmers scramble...or even fail to stay afloat - one of the first things to suffer is animal health and well-being.
It's all very well to point out the problem - and lay blame for its existence. The reality is...we already know the problem. Minority groups with their 'shock' tactics offer no genuine solution.
At the moment one such group is offering the following 'solutions'...
1. buy a stuffed bobby calf to show you support (and help fund their business no doubt)
2. vote with your $$ and boycott all dairy products (which will directly inflict greater hardship onto the farms...where bobby calves will continue to be born)
They state, and I paraphrase, "If the treatment of bobby calves is to improve, it is imperative that the industry becomes accountable and for the public to exercise their consumer power."
Sadly for the bobby calf - the consumer is exercising their power on a daily basis. Through their buying habits, they have in fact sealed the fate of the bobby calf, as an unwanted by-product of the Dairy Industry. With veal no longer being the popular cut of meat it once was, demand for dairy beef has rapidly diminished.
It's a very honourable thing - to want to make a difference - to make a positive and lasting change. But it is much more important, and proactive to do enough research, to be armed with the knowledge and tools, to effectively do so.
While such lobby groups continue to complain loudly about the injustice of reality...farmers are left to cope with the situation at ground level. The very good news is that many farmers make the effort to do what is right. Although the consumer has chosen not to prolong the life of the bobby calf - the farmer will do their best to offer comfort and prevent illness during the 'unwanted' bull calves' short life.
Yes - for the past decade here at the Dennis family farm, we have been feeding our bull calves on the bottle beyond their day of birth...ensuring that they neither have too much or too little milk. This is critical to their good health, that they get enough colostrum from their mother (or the bank of frozen bottles we keep on stock) within the first 12 hours of life, as they are extremely vulnerable - facing life threatening complications during that first (and sometimes only) week. After feeding them one last time at about 7 days of age, we then loaded them onto our own ute - personally responsible for their safe delivery to our local abattoir, only 20 minutes from home. We've always aimed to minimise stress or suffering experienced by our bull calves at every opportunity. However some great news in a recent development, nearly all of our little boys over the past year have been placed at new homes, and reared by people in our region.
I like to think personally, that we as farmers, are more about practical solutions. Transparency is important - as the message surrounding our actions is conveyed. So unless the 'activists' have a lasting victory...in their endeavour for you - the consumer - to stop consuming all dairy products immediately, or better still - become vegans...we - the humble dairy farmer, will continue to deal with what is very real, each and every day.
Sad but true - the bobby calf remains...the unwanted by-product of 'consumer demand'.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
While we call it anecdotal evidence...it is REAL!!
Just ask one of the thousands who have discovered that our milk is not causing any of the nasty side-effects they had come to associate with anything dairy!
I continue to question..."Has our body really changed in one generation - or are we continuing to do more damage to our food through processing, in turn creating digestive issues". We're all chasing that elusive property we've trained to look for through cleverly coordinated propaganda campaigns..."SHELF LIFE" !!
Milk - more than any other product in the supermarket isle has attracted millions of dollars into R&D...because it is so perishable - naturally. The inconvenient truth? The longer the shelf life, the worse it is for your body...and subsequent health. Today more than ever before, more and more milk is being subjected to more and more processing damage - so it can last longer and longer in the fridge - NOT GOOD FOR YOU!
We at 4REAL have separated ourselves from the pack, by bucking the trend and doing less damage, not more...so that you the consumer can get more health benefits...not less :)
Fact - fiction - opinion?? I know where I stand on this issue, and so do the multitudes who have stumbled across 4REAL MILK.
Do the taste test...have your say on our survey.
Farmer Gregie ;)