Monday, September 29, 2014

The Importance of Listening..

I was scrolling through my comments for this blog for the past 2 years, then I read through some of my previous blog posts.  I started this blog with the intention of educating consumers about my love of dairy farming and the importance of agriculture and food.  As I was reading I could see my passion shine through, however I noticed a certain "defensive" tone to my writing.  Maybe it's age or maybe it's experience, but I think now I can see with greater clarity the importance of listening and that was very evident in the comments that I was reading.  Many of the comments that I read today were very angry and very inappropriate.  I stick firmly by my personal rules to not engage in conversation with those who cannot be polite and civil when expressing their opinions, but perhaps I was also guilty of jumping to some prejudgments and defending my opinion without actually listening to a differing opinion in it's entirety.  I also realize how important it is to agree to disagree.  I should make it completely known that I am not against Vegan diets, organic agriculture, or anything different than what happens on our farm.  I believe in the freedom of choice, I just hope that those choices are made with a full understanding of all of the facts. And the way we all get understanding is through maybe this blog's purpose is shift towards engaging in a productive conversation about practices on our farm and many other farms and how that impacts the diets of so many people.  The way that we can make this conversation is through active I'm listening, feel free to leave and comment and hopefully my readers will also listen too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Increase the Dose....

I saw this quote the other day, and while it pertains to life, I found it to be particularly important for dairy farming as well: " A Physician once said the best medicine for humans is love. Someone asked him what if that doesn't work? He smiled and said....Increase the Dose!"

The same can be said about cows and calves on a dairy farm.  We have emergency veterinarian care at the dial of a phone, medicine on hand for almost any possible ailment, skilled employees to find sick cows and we feel prevention is the best cure.  Even with all of the technology and medicine, the best medicine we can give is our love for our animals.

The other day one of our employees came to the rescue of a cow having her calf.  The calf was 45 days premature.  While the calf was born early, it was alive, and that little bull calf fought with all of his might to stay alive.  We worked hard to give him the very best care that we could.  With as much love as possible, we fed him multiple small meals each day.  We gave him medicine to help his lungs develop and antibiotics to keep away any infections.  As hard as we tried, however, Mother Nature was not on our side.  This little guy was born without the ability to pass manure.  As much love as we gave him, we knew that he wasn't going to make it.  At two and a half days of age, the little bull passed away.  I can't help it, every time I lose a little calf, I cry, even if there was nothing I could do, other than increase the dose of love that they received.  With all the wonders of modern medicine and technology, we will still have sick animals and we will still lose some calves, but at the end of the day I know that I gave the best medicine, and if that didn't work, well I always increase my dose.