Latest undercover video receives different reaction
The dairy industry has been through the drill several times over the past few years: - Animal rights group posts an undercover video online. - Animal rights group targets milk buyer of farm through media. - Farm suffers consequences laid down by milk buyer, and entire industry looks bad. But this week, when Mercy for Animals released their latest video showing unacceptable practices in the back of a holding pen and in handling calves, the response was different. First, due to a unique set of circumstances that I cannot divulge... View Blog Post »
Sjostrom: New dairy abuse video should prompt your wallet or watch
We received word that the next dairy farm abuse video is right around the corner. After watching it, it is indeed abuse and deserves no excuses. But we won’t share more than that to limit unneeded promotion. Yes, there may be parts that are not actually abuse that are staged to look like a horrible situation – like attempts to get a down cow up using extreme measures to significantly improve her well-being – but they do not make up for the appalling parts of the video. My hope is that this is the last one, ever. But odds are that is... View Blog Post »
Sjostrom: Science, science everywhere, but not a drop to drink
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration shocked the artisan cheese world by announcing that cheese could no longer be aged on wooden boards — a practice some cheesemakers swear by both domestic and abroad. You do change the properties of the cheese when aged on wood (typically for the benefit of more flavor notes), but using science we must also understand that wood — versus a stainless steel or a poly-based shelf — deserves higher scrutiny in cleaning. As I noted yesterday, my wife and I attended the American Cheese Society (ACS) annual convention in Sacramento. It brings together... View Blog Post »
Sjostrom: Expand your dairy product palate
My wife and I spent the last days of July in California. I spent most of my time visiting dairies to talk about their situations and gather information for stories. But my wife was in Sacramento at the American Cheese Society (ACS) convention — the big gathering of artisan cheese minds each year. It was my third and my wife’s fourth conference, the tastiest conference I’ve ever attended — especially in comparison to many dairy conferences where “expensive” milk and cheese is not even offered by the conference meal planners. Cheesemaking is an art and a science — although I would... View Blog Post »
Sjostrom: An apology to The Original Muck Boot Company, and mankind
Last night, at around 10:30 p.m. I wrote up a piece about The Original Muck Boot Company and its supposed donation to HSUS, a known animal rights organization, in “Muck Boot company wading with HSUS?” Please note the word “supposed,” and the question mark at the end of the title. I had seen the post earlier in the day, and then saw a few more posts at 9:30 p.m. and wrote the article. At about noon, the company responded with an apology on Facebook. Here’s an excerpt: “We would like to respond to our loyal customers…” “…Family members of an employee who recently... View Blog Post »
Sjostrom: Muck Boot company wading with HSUS?
Update: The Original Muck Boot Company apologizes around noon on 8/5/14. Read more here in, "Sjostrom: An apology to The Original Muck Boot Company, and mankind." We’re still waiting for an apology — and I don’t mean just dairy farmers. Hunters, fisherman, farmers, ranchers, and agriculturalists everywhere are heading to The Original Muck Boot Company’s Facebook page to share outrage that it donated over $2,000 for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS, or H$U$ as many prefer). You’ve likely heard that HSUS gives less than one-half of one percent of its huge annual budget to shelters, and doesn’t operate... View Blog Post »
Sjostrom: Let’s throw manure at our imitators
Several years ago, I heard about “Beyond Meat,” a new company making soy- and pea-based plant foods that taste like meat. Evidently they’re finally making imitation meat that’s pretty good, or at least good enough that if you pay a fourth-place baseball team with an already-vested spokesperson to eat it, they will eat it. (By the way, that spokesperson, Mets’ captain David Wright, missed all three games since it was reported he had a bite of the fake burger. Hmmm… coincidence?) Similarly, Hampton Creek sells “Just Mayo,” an imitation egg mayonnaise, and scientists are still working towards petri dish meat. I am... View Blog Post »
Sjostrom: Keep the road open
Editor's note: This article originally ran in the July 2014 issue of Dairy Herd Management. Can you imagine not having a driveway to your farm? I can, after experiencing the winter of 2013-2014. This winter was complete with snow, ice and cold on our Minnesota dairy farm, but we were lucky the worst days didn’t collide with our every-other-day milk pickups. No driveway means no truck, and no truck means lost opportunity. Our family farm is located in central Minnesota’s Stearns County. As of 2012, Stearns ranked 22nd in the country for milk produced. We moved to my wife’s home farm nearly... View Blog Post »
Going hands-free: Even farm dogs can be robotized
Just minutes ago, we posted a story about the first U.S. Lely Vector. Today, I read about drones (U.A.V.s, unmanned aerial vehicles), heard about Google’s driverless car on the radio, and came home to pizza warm out of the oven — okay, that last one didn’t require any brand-new technology, just a loving family. Even so, my question is where will it end? When I heard about the Vector two years ago, I was shocked something like that could even be economical. But through Europe, Ireland, and Canada, the Vector is operational on more farms each month — with the... View Blog Post »
Sjostrom: The sad state of science – part 3
Note: Part one of this three-part series is also accessible online – Nutrition science serves a big fat lie. On Wednesday, we learned how we got to today in the fat debate, learning from Nina Teicholz’ book, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.” Today, we’ll talk about the research, or lack thereof. - See more at: http://www.dairyherd.com/blogs/Sjostrom-Fat-wont-make-you-fat--Part-2-264890781.html?aid=262593981&author=Lucas+Sjostrom#sthash.MfxvKAuC.dpuf Note: Part one of this three-part series is also accessible online – Nutrition science serves a big fat lie. On Wednesday, we learned how we got to... View Blog Post »
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