The other day, my friend Julie emailed me a link to a story about a Kiwi farmer called Tim. Here’s the gist of it:
So convinced is he that farmers have nothing to hide that he urges people to knock on a dairy farmer’s door and ask them about their farm. “They’re welcome to call on me anytime,” he says, then adds: “As long as they come with an open mind, not with any particular axe to grind.”
Animal activists will tell you there is a dark side to dairying and then mostly follow that up with stories about calves being removed from their mothers and forced annual inseminations. It’s true. We do remove calves from their mothers and it’s also true that we hope to get cows in calf every year (although that’s not realistic – we keep dozens every year who don’t fall pregnant). But it’s not cruel.
The point of this blog is to provide a window to another Australian way of living as well as showing you what we do and why. You have a right to know your milk is ethical and safe.
Our top priorities are to look after people, animals and the land while producing the best milk possible and staying afloat. They have to be or we wouldn’t be doing it: we don’t earn nearly as much as Tim does, unfortunately. The farmgate price of milk fluctuates like crazy and in the past three years, it’s varied from 28 cents per litre to 48 cents, so Wayne and I are both working second jobs while we “renovate” the farm (which is, by the way, valued at a fraction of Tim’s).
So, if there are dairy practices you’re wondering about, please hit me with them.