10 Things Your Non-Farm Friends Just Don’t Understand

All of my friends come from different walks of life, but for my friends who didn’t come from a farm they sometimes have a hard time understanding the farm lifestyle. Here’s a list of things I think some people can relate to.

1. You don’t have set work hours 

When your non-farm friends wanna hang out it’s hard for them to realize you don’t work from 9-5.  They might think you’re making up excuses when you tell them “we can’t hang out till it rains” or “sorry I was late, I had to help deliver a calf” Or if one takes you on a date to the movies and you fall asleep half way through the show, they think it’s because you’re not interested in them, when in reality its because you’ve been up since 4am and you’re tired (looks like you won’t be getting a second date with that one!)

How a conversation usually goes when your non-farm friends wanna hang out (picture:pinterest)

How conversations usually go (picture:pinterest)


2. Your hygiene levels are not equal to theirs 

No matter how much you clean up for a night out on the town your non-farm friends can always pick out the lingering odor of barn that you’ve become immune to.  That smell just lives in your skin and clothes and can’t be washed off just like the grease in the callouses of your hands.  Or maybe you didn’t have time to fully scrub up and quickly just changed your clothes before heading out. Now you’re downtown eating some fancy dinner and your non-farm friends point out that you have hay in your hair and manure stains on what you thought were clean jeans.

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When they get a whiff of that barn smell (picture:pinterest)

3. You wear boots everywhere 

Work, casual, weddings: boots are not for just out in the barn and can go with any outfit even if the general public doesn’t find it fashionable.  Your non-farm friends just don’t understand that wearing anything besides boots on your feet just doesn’t feel right. Although they are usually quite thankful to find out that you have a separate pair of boots for going out aside from your barn boots.


Good going out boots are kept separate from barn boots

4. You’re not the life of the party

It’s 11pm, the music’s blaring, people are up and about socializing and you’re half passed out on the nearest couch.  You’ve been up since the crack of dawn and its way passed you’re normal bed time.  Your non-farm friends convince you to stay up and enjoy the party.  Once it dies down everyone hits the hay and now you’re stuck pulling an all-nighter since morning chores are just around the corner.

Your idea of a late night (image:trophypursuit.com)

Your idea of a late night (image:trophypursuit.com)

5. You’re so fit and tan

Your non-farm friends are sometimes jealous of the fact that you pretty much eat whatever you want and don’t get fat or that you’re a golden bronze color all summer long.  If they knew how hard you worked all day or that you’re entire summer is spent outside in the hot sun they probably wouldn’t be so envious of your appearance.

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6. You avoid certain conversations

“Wait, What, you stuck your arm where in a cow?!”  Sometimes when your non-farm friends ask you “so what did you do today?” it’s better to just leave out some parts.  Although if they ask for some clarification on farm procedures you’re more than willing to go into more detail and teach them something new.

When you get on the subject of Artificial Insemination (image:Pinterest)

When you get on the subject of Artificial Insemination (image:Pinterest)

7. You make a big deal over what color a tractor is

To your non-farm friends it’s just a different paint color, but to you it’s one of the greatest debates in farm history.



8. You take farm terminology seriously

If your friends ever come over to the farm and point out a steer and call it a bull, you’ll be the first to correct them.  They may not have come from a farm, but you’ll make darn sure to educate them on the differences between a cow and a heifer, hay and straw, a plow and a disc.

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9. You have different life goals

While your non-farm friends might be busy trying to climb the corporate ladder or save to buy that house up on the hill, you’re busy at an auction trying to see if you can get a steal on some cattle or out trying to make a 6 digit offer on a piece of potential acreage.



10. Your pictures on social media don’t look like theirs

Your friends that don’t come from a farm sometimes find it strange that all your pictures on your social media are of nothing but animals, barns, tractors, and crops.   Before they open one of your snapchats they are probably thinking, Let me guess? Another picture from working out in the fields and yes, their hypothesis is correct upon opening the picture.  Or maybe it’s simply the fact that you only take selfies with your livestock that puzzles them.

Or selfies from the seat of a tractor

Or selfies from the seat of the tractor

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You Can Eat Meat and Love Animals

It never fails to attract some backlash from the vegan community when I try to show consumers how much farmers love and care for their animals.  How can you call that love when you eventually send your animals off to slaughter? You don’t care for your animals if you eat them!   These particular examples have been toned down for the sake of this article, but such accusations are usually much more distasteful in language.  For wanting humane treatment of animals, vegans can act dreadfully inhumane towards other humans (which I think they forget are also animals) over the subject.  It’s not worth the headache to defend my side via the comments section on social media, so let me explain how I can love animals and stomach the fact that they end up on my dinner plate.

When I read a vegan’s outcries I often have flashbacks to my younger days, “But daddy why do we have to get rid of her?” I would cry as we loaded up an old cow to send to market, “can’t we just keep her as a pet?” At the time it didn’t seem fair that we had to get rid of the animals that I had formed a special bond with.  Most people who have shown animals through 4-H can relate to this scenario after having to sell their first fair animal. It can create a terrible feeling of guilt knowing that the animal you spent every day working with and got to know on a personal level was  going to become someone’s supper with the word ‘sold’ from the auctioneer.  I admit I sometimes found it hard to eat meat after I had sold one of my beloved animals, but I grew up to learn it was something I shouldn’t feel guilty about.

Every day on a farm you must take care of every animal.  No animal ever gets skipped and they don’t take days off from needing care.  It’s a full time job making sure they are fed, watered, milked, bedded, and healthy as well as spending time in the fields planting, fertilizing, and harvesting their feed sources.  Their needs always come before yours and at the end of the day when you’re beaten down and tired, what do you have to show for it?  Of course there’s the milk and beef checks sitting on the table, but there’s usually a platter of meat also sitting on the table for dinner.  The animals that you spent all day taking care of whether it was directly out in the barn or indirectly out in the fields, take care of you at the end of the day.  They provide you with a food source so rich in nutrients, no plant can even come close to comparing to.  Meat is everything I need to refuel and rejuvenate my body after a long day of work so that I can go to bed, wake up in the morning, and do it all over again.  My animals cannot live without me and I cannot live without them.

If we didn’t love our animals we certainly wouldn’t work from sun up to sun down for their sake and I know there’s no way I could put in a hard day’s work on a plant based diet.  (I wouldn’t expect our fellow omnivore the black bear to live off a diet of nuts and berries and be productive.) I could dive further to defend why I choose to eat meat and get into my religion, nutrition, or the simple fact that humans have canine teeth, but to me this is the most crucial argument since I learned it firsthand growing up.  As for those beloved fair animals I had to sell, if it wasn’t for them I would be up to my neck in debt from college, although 4-H projects teach kids more valuable lessons in life than just money earned.

I’m not calling out all vegans with this post, as I know there are some that understand my diet, and I certainly wouldn’t rub a juicy steak in one’s face.  I think it’s time we all start to respect each other’s food choices and realize you can be an animal lover and still eat meat if you choose.  As I can already foreshadow some of the malicious allegations this post will reel in, let me leave you with this, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them” Matthew 15:11.

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DIY Cow Stanchion Sign

Got some old cow stanchions lying around the farm? Before you pitch them for scrap, let me show you one way to repurpose them into a sign.  You’ll need the style of stanchion with wood on the inside neck railing for something to attach your sign to.

11193354_1592239317712354_2941618215746474021_n I am the Maid of Honor in a cow themed wedding this summer and had to get creative when helping make decorations.  This sign will be displayed somewhere at the wedding.  You could make your sign a welcome sign for your garden or front porch or even a farm sign, the possibilities are endless. You could even make one horizontally instead of the vertical position I chose.(Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it would make an awesome handmade gift for the farm mom in your life)

1) Clean: I first started by cleaning up my stanchion with a wire brush and then sprayed it clean with a hose. This stanchion had seen many cows and was caked thick with cow manure (this was the longest part). This particular sign is only going to be used for one day outside so I chose not to cover the stanchion with a finish.  If you wanted yours to be kept outside or even inside I would suggest finishing it with some type of sealant or polyurethane. I liked the rusty look of the old headlock, but you could prime and repaint yours if you wanted too.

2)  Weld: Whether you want you stanchion open or closed I would suggest welding it at the opening for stability. I wanted my stanchion displayed open for more room for letters. The stanchion I used was made out of cast iron and farmer helped me by using a brazing rod with a TIG welder to keep it open (thanks dad!) You could probably get away with not welding the opening if you wanted your stanchion left closed for your sign, I would recommend welding it so things stay in place.


3) Trace/Cut: I laid my stanchion on a piece of plywood and traced the inside of it. I measured the width of the wood that runs along the inside of the stanchion and added that width to the sides of my traced outline. (The sign will attach to the wood lining of the stanchion). I cut my outline with a jigsaw; you could also use a band saw. I lined up the sign on the back of my stanchion to make sure it laid flat against the wood sides of the stanchion. There were a few nuts on the stanchion that wouldn’t allow the sign to lay flat so I had to make some additional cuts on my sign.

4) Paint/Finish: This is the fun part! Paint whatever words or pictures you want on your sign, I used acrylic craft paint. If your sign is going outside make sure to finish your sign with some type of sealant and you probably should use an outdoor approved paint.


5) Attach Sign: I aligned my sign to the back of my stanchion clamped it down, predrilled some holes through my plywood sign and inner wood on the stanchion, and then screwed it down. If you wanted your sign to last a long time, put a bead of wood glue between the two sets of wood.  This sign will be leaned against a barn or some bales at the wedding.  If you wanted yours mounted on a wall in the house make sure you get heavy duty brackets to hold the weight of the stanchion up.


I hope this was helpful:)

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~Molly Beth

The Hardest Customer to Please

One of the hardest customers to please is the farmer.  John F. Kennedy said it best, “The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.”  When it comes to making big investments on the farm, a farmer can be hesitant, as certain expenses can be a gamble towards profit.  Although future incomes can be predicted by watching market reports, they don’t always hold true at the end of the harvest season.  The farmer has to be profitable at the end of each year to make it to the next one.  So when a new agricultural technology hits the market they usually don’t fall victim to catchy advertisement schemes.  If the new innovation promises increased profit and efficiency, majority of the farm customers won’t jump on the bandwagon all at once. They may only buy a small amount to see if it holds up to its statement or watch how it performs for their neighbors.  Whether it’s machinery, tractors, or other types of purchases, the new item has to prove to be effective and worth its cost before a farmer invests their money into it.

One of these innovations was a seed that hit the grid in the mid-90s that promised a farmer increased profit through use of less herbicide, higher yields, and more no-till farming practices because it had been genetically modified to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate.  This Roundup Ready seed developed by Monsanto sounded way too good to be true.  The first GM crop the soybean, was not planted by majority of farmers as it is today, when it was released in 1996.  Many farmers were skeptical of this new technology back in the 90s, but over time Roundup held true to its claims, which has led to their major impact in agriculture 20 years later.  Today this herbicide resistant technology, along with other modified seed technologies is found in 90% of corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, and sugar beets.

Lately there have been a lot of studies that try to claim that genetic modified crops are detrimental to farmers, consumers, and the environment.  There’s one that claims that GMOs don’t increase yields to help feed a growing population, another which states that biotech crops don’t promote no-till farming practices, and a lot that try to allege that glyphosate is harmful to human health.  Although majority of these studies have been proven false or are based on probable and biased claims, the real proof on the impact of GM crops can be observed from the farmer.  If the most difficult customer to please wasn’t happy with the results of Roundup Ready and other modified crops they simply wouldn’t plant them.  When planting GM crops if the farmer realized that their yields didn’t increase, they had to use more herbicide, or they couldn’t practice more no-till planting, they would have made the switch back to the cheaper conventional seeds a long time ago.  If they didn’t trust the twenty years of research behind the safety of glyphosate on human health, they surely wouldn’t plant these crops that their own family, animals, and your family consume.


RoundUp Ready corn for corn silage. Promotes use of less tillage, less herbicide, and higher yields.

When it comes to the safety and environmental impact of our food I think it’s time we start looking at the major seed preference of the ones that grow it.  Today’s farmers have to increase supply to meet demand and have to do so in a way that is better for the environment to preserve land for future generations, while growing a product that is safe for consumption.  There has not been a single agricultural technology that has been more beneficial to this goal than biotech crops.   Majority of farmers are willing to pay the extra dollar for GM seeds versus conventional because they know that it’s well worth the cost. In 20 years GM crops have succeed in satisfying the hardest customer to please, the farmer and I think that says a lot about the positive impact biotech crops have had on food production.

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RoundUp Ready © Monsanto 2002-2015

The Modern Milkmaid is not a employee or paid spokesperson for Monsanto neither are the 90% of farmers who choose to grow seeds with Monsanto’s patents

The Farm Cubicle: Confined Housing Explained

The cubicle, a common structure found on most businesses today, creates an individual working environment for employees.  The cubicle was created in the 1960’s and today makes up for majority of office spaces.  Its helps prevent distraction, increase work productivity, and can give employees a sense of protection in their occupation.  Although some employees may not prefer this type of confined space, the hard working employees of the farm (the farm animals) sure do.

Dairy Cow: Freestall

Today most dairy cattle are housed in freestall barns.  Stalls can be bedded with sand, sawdust, or even have waterbeds for animals to lie on.  Individual freestalls provide cows with ultimate comfort, protection from other cows, decrease incidence of mastitis (udder infection) and encourage resting.  In-between rows of freestalls are alleyways where cows have access to fresh water and feed.  The alleyways are large enough for cows to lie in if desired, but 99% of the time cows will lie in their stalls where they feel comfortable.  Majority of freestall barns are equipped with fans and sprinklers for warmer months to keep cows cool and side curtains and doors that can be closed for added heat in the cold.  Read here for research that proves cows prefer freestalls just as much as they do pasture.

free stall

Cattle in freestalls have access to feed and water (farmtek.wordpress.com)

Dairy Calf: Hutch or Individual Pen 

Majority of calves on dairy farms are raised in individual calf hutches or pens.  Young calves have little immunity and are highly susceptible to bacteria that can make them ill or cause death.  Housing them in individual areas decreases the risk of bacteria spread among calves and increases their overall health.  Keeping calves in separate areas makes it easy to monitor individual calf performance like milk and grain consumption, health, and growth rates.  Hutches have vents on top of them that can be opened to let fresh air into the hutch and usually have a gated area outside for calves to lay outside.  Barns with individual pens for calves are sometimes built similar to the freestall barn.  They have side curtains that can open and close and fans to help keep calves comfortable depending on the weather.  When milk fed calves are housed in group settings it can be difficult to keep calves healthy.  When one calf becomes ill with scours (diarrhea) or pneumonia it can quickly spread to the other animals in the pen.


Calves housed in hutches can lay outside and soak up the sun.

Sow: Gestation/Farrowing Crates

Some hog farmers keep pregnant pigs in gestation crates and farrowing crates after they have given birth to their piglets.  Pregnant sows can exhibit extremely aggressive behavior towards each other and can seriously injure or even kill one another.  Crates prevent fighting among sows and make it easier for their caretakers to assist in the birthing process.  Farrowing crates decrease the number of piglets that are accidentally killed by their mothers and provide a dry floor for piglets to decrease enteric disease.  Like the calves housed individually, sows kept in gestation/farrowing crates can be easily monitored and can receive individual attention when needed. Watch here to see how a former undercover agent for HSUS, Humane Society of the United States, admits that gestation crates are more humane than group housing for sows.  Here’s another video that proves that when given the choice between group housing and individual crates, sows prefer their gestation stalls.


Sow and piglets in a farrowing stall (mannebeck.com)

Employees are not expected to excel at work as they did before the 1960’s and animals on the farm certainly cannot be raised in the same fashion to meet consumer demands today.  The cubicle and modern farm facilities weren’t just some crazy ideas that were pulled out of the air.  Researchers closely studied behavior and applied their findings to these inventions to help increase performance and productivity.

For those individuals who work in a cubicle and disagree with this type of confined working environment, think of it this way: Would you be as successful at your job if the barriers were removed and you had to work in a group setting vs. individually?

Farm facilities can cost thousands or even millions to build and can take decades before a true return on investment can be noticed.  If we didn’t think an animal’s health, safety, and overall well-being were important factors to be considered when trying to meet consumer demands for food, we undoubtedly wouldn’t have put the time, care, and finances into designing our facilities to what they are today.

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*featured image: workdesign.com

All About Agvocates: Advocates for Agriculture

What is an Agvocate?

An AGvocate is someone who is an advocate for agriculture. Agvocates are individuals who positively promote the farm and food industries.  They educate consumers on topics such as animal welfare, food safety, and environmental concerns from agriculture.

Agvocates are always outstanding in their field. Photo courtesy of A.J. Kropp

Agvocates are always outstanding in their field. Photo courtesy of A.J. Kropp

Why should I be concerned?

If you eat food you are involved in agriculture.  If you’re passionate about the ag industry, the fight to gain more respect for agriculture is your battle too.  Majority of ideas portrayed to consumers regarding their food leave them with a negative impression towards modern farming practices.  Food labels like non-GMO and hormone-free have been implemented for economic advances from big name companies.  The scientific facts have been buried so deep that it’s hard for consumers to find the real truth on their food.  It’s an agvocate’s job to dig up the reality for consumers.  For example, if an organism was hormone free it would be dead, all food contains insignificantly small levels of hormones compared to what the body naturally produces.

How/Where do I start?

Remember to always put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and understand where their concerns are coming from.  Respond to concerns in a positive light.  In the fight against agriculture, let’s take the mature path. For example do not say things like “You don’t approve of modern farming, I hope you like starving!”  Instead say something like “Modern farming practices are used because we have to feed more people on less land available than before.”

Defending the ag industry is not an easy thing to do even if you are armed with facts, research, and personal stories.  You may have to tell your side of the story 100 times before 1 person finally listens to what you have to say.  Don’t ever give up or get discouraged because that 1 person that listened was 1 person who didn’t know the truth about their food yesterday.

There are lots of ways to connect with consumers.  In our techno based society social media is one of the most powerful ways to get a message out. I started a blog to get my voice out to consumers, but you don’t have to have a blog to be a successful agvocate.  Something as simple as snapping a photo when you’re busy out in the fields and posting it to your Facebook page or sharing an educational article regarding food safety can make you an influential agvocate. The next time a friend tells you that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were created to poison consumers, discuss with them that conventional and GMO crops are nutritionally and chemically the same and GMOs pose no health risks. A prosperous agvocate never ignores a consumer’s concern no matter how far fetched their worries may seem.

There will always be individuals who won’t believe you when discussing the real truth behind agricultural technologies.  When confronted with these types of people, be respectful of their opinions because no matter how much they disapprove of modern farming, at the end of the day they still have to eat food and are supporting some form of agriculture.

"You are the hitch pin that connects agriculture to consumers" Laura Daniels at Ag Chat Conference .  Photo courtesy of Ashley Rose

“You are the hitch pin that connects agriculture to consumers” Laura Daniels at Ag Chat Conference . Photo courtesy of Ashley Rose

Who can I turn to for help?

There are so many great resources and even more great people who are willing to help others in the ag industry.  Check out your local 4-H, FFA, or Farm Bureau or turn to past advisors or educators.  If you’re still in school take a class on communications.  Remember that asking a question is NEVER a sign of weakness.

If you don’t speak up and tell your side of the story in agriculture, individuals whom have no significant role in the industry will keep spreading misinformation to consumers. Fellow agvocates I challenge you to let your voices be heard and to do your part in helping gain more respect for agriculture.

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Show Me the Moolah

When I set out to prove to consumers that dairy farmers aren’t in the milking business for money by providing financial statistics, I knew only one woman to contact, Dianne Shoemaker.  Dianne is the Dairy Production Economics Field Specialist at The Ohio State University.  Along with Christina Benton the Program Assistant Farm Business Analyst, Shoemaker annually puts together a Dairy Enterprise Analysis Summary that gives economic benchmarks for dairy farms across Ohio.  This summary is a wonderful financial tool for Ohio dairy producers to use to compare their operation to the average farm.  To learn more about the Dairy Enterprise Analysis Summary or other Ohio farm business summaries click here

I used the latest data from the 2013 dairy summary which includes financial numbers from 35 farms across Ohio with an average of 259 cows per herd.

Below is the average income per cow broken down

Income: Per Cow
Milk Sold $5,276.31
Calves Sold (usually bull calves) $50.20
Cull Cows (Cows sold) $261.07
Other Incomes $163.50
Total Income per Cow for 2013 $5,751.08

Below is the average expense per cow broken down (notice that feed cost is 60% of expenses)

Expenses: Per Cow
Feed $2,980.24
Breeding Fees $83.30
Veterinary, Medical $140.71
Supplies $236.97
Fuel and Oil $108.89
Repairs $138.50
Hired/Custom Labor $665.70
Utilities (Water, Electric, Etc.) $97.18
Hauling and Trucking $121.68
Milk Marketing  Fees $65.51
Bedding $99.54
Overhead Exp. (Interest, Depreciation) $468.41
Total Expenses per Cow for 2013 $4,738.21

The net return per cow per year (income-expenses) works out to be $544.  For the animal that is taken care of 365 days a year that’s $1.49 return per head per day.  My dependable readers on my Facebook page told me that the average farmer works 70 hours a week. That works out to be 15 cents per hour per cow.  These figures are based on net return per cow which does not include principal payments on loans, family living expenses, taxes, reinvestment into the business, and retirement funds, so the actual profit per cow would be much lower than these numbers.

There are no holidays, sick days, or vacations on dairy operations.  Dairy farmers provide proper care for all of their animals 365 days a year, no matter if there’s blazing heat, pouring rain, or freezing cold.

15 cents an hour to the farmer who stays up all night waiting for that overdue cow to calve to make sure she doesn’t need assistance.  $1.49 a day for the sick cow that the farmer worries about all day because she is not responding to any treatments even after calling the vet to check on her.  544 dollars a year for an animal that the farmer takes care of everyday just to be told by animal activists that producers only raise dairy animals for money.



Still convinced that the dairy farmer is filthy rich?  Dairy farmers are paid by 100 pounds of milk sold or by hundredweight (cwt).  The average net return per hundredweight (income-expenses) for dairy farmers in Ohio according to the 2013 Ohio Dairy Enterprise Analysis Summary was $2.21.  There are 11.63 gallons of milk in a hundred weight of milk.  In 2013 the dairy farmer made 19 cents per gallon of milk sold.  The average price of a gallon of milk in Ohio in 2013 was $3.45 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics  The Ohio dairy farmer only walked away with 5% net return from each gallon of milk sold.  With $2.21 net return per cwt the dairy farmer still has to pay to feed their families, pay off principal on loans, invest into their business and retirement, and pay taxes before they can have some extra money to put in their pockets.

Dairy farmers don’t milk cows as a get rich quick scheme.  They do it because they truly love their animals and our passionate about providing a wholesome, affordable product to consumers.  If you still don’t believe me ask a dairy farmer yourself. I’m sure they would be glad to explain to you the true reasons why they raise dairy animals and I guarantee money will always be at the bottom of their list.

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Shoemaker, Dianne, and Christina Benton. “Dairy Enterprise Analysis Summary Including Benchmark Reports.2013 Ohio Farm Business Analysis. The Ohio State University, 2013.

The Milk Truth on rBST

Dairy products have taken quite the creaming over the past few decades due to phony safety concerns put out by the media concerning milk from cows given the hormone recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST.  With young children reaching puberty at an earlier age and an increased incidence of cancer, all scientific research regarding this hormone has been pushed aside and the blame has been shoved onto milk.

Bovine Somatotropin (bST) is a protein based hormone that cows naturally produce in their pituitary gland for growth and milk production.  rBST is the synthetic form of this hormone that can be given to cows to help them convert feed to milk more efficiently, resulting in a 10-15% increase in milk production.  This injectable hormone was created almost 50 years ago to produce more milk from fewer cows to help meet demands for milk in the future.

BST is a protein based hormone not a steroid based hormone.  The proteins are broken down by enzymes in the body, resulting in no effect in one’s own hormonal levels.

The FDA has conducted extensive research and has proved that the levels of bST in milk from cows treated with rBST and cows not treated with rBST were significantly equal.  They also verified that bST has no effect in human’s hormonal levels.  Therefore, milk from cows treated with rBST is not the cause of early onset puberty.

The claim that the level of insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1) were higher in rBST treated cows and were contributing to cancer were also proven false by the FDA.  IGF-1 levels in cows treated with rBST were found to be equivalent to cows not treated with rBST, when viewed over the span of the animal’s entire lactation.  They also confirmed that the IGF-1 levels in milk are not active in humans and that IGF-1 levels from milk have no effect on cancer cell growth.

Furthermore, the FDA has proven through other studies along with the rBST study that organic milk, milk from cows not treated with rBST, and milk from cows treated with rBST are equal in levels of nutrition and safety.

With multiple credible studies proving rbST milk is safe for consumers, why does this hormone have such a negative sentiment from the public?  Bernie Heisner explains it perfectly in his article “What if groups reviewed past rBST policies?” from the February 10th 2015 issue of Hoard’s Dairyman, “Publicly traded companies are frequently more concerned with making the next quarter’s financial statement look good, while agriculture is thinking of the next generation.”  Instilling fear into consumers by stating there are detrimental hormones in their food is a crooked way to make some extra dough, but before too long these companies supremacies will be over.  With the projected population of the next generation in mind, rBST will have to become a more common practice in dairy production to meet upcoming milk demands.  A general acceptance of this proven agricultural technology is crucial for the future of dairy products.

*Stay tuned to read about rBST and its effect in cows and my opinion on how it should be used from the dairy production side

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“U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” Report on the Food and Drug Administration’s Review of the Safety of Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin. The Food and Drug Administration, 28 July 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.

Heisner, Bernie. “What if groups reviewed past rBST policies?” Hoard’s Dairyman 10 Feb. 2015: pg 79. Print.

Featured image courtesy of The Austin Times

Dirt Therapy

When the farmer finally finishes combining their last acre of corn during the harvest season, an immediate sense of relief flows through their veins.  For three straight seasons the farmer has worked from sun up to sun down to ensure their crops were properly planted, fertilized, and harvested to provide a wholesome grain for consumers.  For the remainder of fall and for the entire season of winter, the farmer can finally shave some hours off their workday to relax until spring comes around the following year.

Some might say, “What a wonderful opportunity for the hard working farmer to take a vacation now that they have some extra time on their hands!” Well folks, I can tell you from personal experience that convincing a farmer to go on vacation is about as difficult as trying to dry hay in the rain.  Even if the farmer does decide to take a break, leaving a trustworthy individual to take care of their animals, they will call back at least twice a day to make sure everything is okay and about halfway through the third day of vacation they’re ready to come home.  Most farmers just don’t prefer to leave their farms where they reside.

So what does the farmer do during the winter months now that they don’t have crops to tend after?

When they’re not found outside bracing winters elements providing proper care for all of their animals, they may be seen out in the shop repairing tractors and equipment for the upcoming season, while others can be spotted crunching numbers at their desks for the next crop.

But by the time February hits, the lack of farm fresh air and warm sunshine begins to eat away at the farmer.  They long to be out in the fields again and cannot stand to be kept inside for as long as winter has held them captive.  It may cause some to feel depressed, while others may become irritable as winter drags on for what seems like an eternity.

These mixed emotions may cause the farmer to question their upcoming crop after reviewing grain price futures.  Is my income going to cover my expenses this year?  Will my crops yield where I project they will? Will the weather be too dry or too wet for maximum profitability?   

And then it finally happens. The sun comes back out and shines down upon the earth melting all the snow and ice.  Planting season has finally arrived!  As the farmer begins to fire up their tractors that have been hibernating all winter, the diesel fumes fill their lungs causing their senses to tingle.  It was finally time to get back out in the fields again where their hearts belonged.

The farmer anxiously makes their way to the field and as the plow strikes the ground and the first chunk of earth is turned over, the scent of dirt rises in the air.  The farmer takes a deep breath of this inviting smell, and at that very instant, all their worries about their future crop they were preparing to plant seem to fade away.  Spring gives them a new beginning and a new sense of hope.

And at the end of the night when they lay their head down to sleep and pray for the best yields and weather for their future crop, the farmer realizes what tremendous power a little dirt therapy can have on their spirits.

~Molly Beth

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The Unbreakable Bond Between Man and Cow

Dairy farmers have long been accused by animal activists for not showing compassion and love towards their animals.  I have decided to show the real bond of love between the dairy producer and the dairy cow through pictures and excerpts from Corinthians 13:4-8.

Love is Patient


Photo courtesy of Kira Andre

After dairy calves have been removed from their mothers for their own personal safety, dairy farmers must bottle feed their calves by hand for their first few meals.  It is a slow process as the newborn calf learns how to nurse and takes nothing but pure patience from the caretaker.

Love is Kind 


Photo courtesy of Melanie Tipton

Dairy farmers display nothing but the upmost kindness towards their animals.  They care for their cows with the most compassionate hearts.

Love is Not Easily Angered  


Photo courtesy of Lauren Shaw

Even on days when cows are not on their best behavior, dairy farmers still manage to control their temper as they are understanding of the animal’s nature.

Love Always Protects

Photo courtesy of Jesus Martin del Campo

Photo courtesy of Jesus Martin del Camp

Producers provide adequate housing for their animals to protect them from nature’s elements.  Individual calf hutches give calves a safe and healthy environment to grow.

Love Always Trusts

Photo courtesy of Haley Drake and Austen Shoemaker

Photo courtesy of Haley Drake and Austen Shoemaker

The average full grown dairy cow can weigh around 1,000-1,500lbs.  Farmers work up close and personal with these gentle giants everyday.  There exists an unspoken a bond of trust between caretaker and animal.

Love Always Hopes

Photo courtesy of Marshall Overholt

Photo courtesy of Marshall Overholt

Dairy famers do there best to properly care for their animals, but some factors they don’t have control over.  They always hope for the best outcome for their animals, whether it be in the show ring or on the farm.

Love Always Preserves

Photo courtesy of Amanda, Daniel, Conner, and Maddie Norton

Photo courtesy of Amanda, Daniel, Conner, and Maddie Norton

Producers pass down the enduring love between man and animal to their children.  They help preserve the importance of dairy farming for the next generation.

Love Never Fails

Photo courtesy of Brittany Yost

Photo courtesy of Brittany Yost

365 days a year the dairy farmer must provide proper care for all of their animals.  The bond of love between the dairy producer and their cows is one that cannot be broken. 

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