Friday, August 22, 2014

Breakfast on the Farm

A while back I received an email for our local 4H (because the oldest country kid is in 4H) about an opportunity to visit a dairy operation and have "Breakfast on the Farm." Seeing as the event was FREE, we love checking out farms and breakfast was included, well how could we pass this one up!! So on the appointed day, our family headed out.....

When we got to the farm, I guess none of us realized just how big of an event this was going to be! Hubby was complaining before we even parked asking "are you sure we can't just go to Cracker Barrel?" Ummm, that would kind of defeat the reason for coming to check out a dairy operation, now wouldn't it?!?! So I forced everyone out of the car and onto a wagon to be driven over to the farm as we had to park in a field across the way from the farm. After getting off the wagon we had to stand in line for breakfast.

The line for breakfast was sooooooooo long. And as my hubby's attitude went down hill, the country kids' did as well. But I tried to keep the happy, smiley, "isn't this fun" attitude....... I mean it was a chance to eat, visit and learn.


It took almost an hour and forty minutes to finally get to the food tent. By then, even I was starting to feel the strain of  "are you sure we can't just go to Cracker Barrel?" Our family weren't the only ones feeling it. There were a lot of upset husbands, whiny children, and moms who were just trying to hold it all together. I mean this was supposed to be fun, right?!?! Luckily for the littlest country kid, there was a giant cow statue half way through the line that just thrilled him. Have I mentioned, he loves, I mean LOVES cows!


Thankfully, we finally had food in front of us. It was closing in on noon and of course we hadn't eaten before leaving home, because we were going to have breakfast on the farm. At this point moral was in the toilet. Now I know it was not the farms fault, or the people who organized it...... Everyone just must of showed up at the same time. And maybe they should have had more then two serving lines. Regardless of the why it took so long, you could really tell that the volunteers who were helping to put this event on where trying very hard.

After eating it was finally time for the littlest country kid to get to see his "cow-cows" as he calls them. We donned our biosecurity foot wear, and began exploring the dairy operation. The country kids both enjoyed getting to climb all over the tractors. We were given access to all aspects of the operation from pregnant cows and the nursery to the living areas and milking parlor. There were signs everywhere explaining every aspect of the business including feed and care of the cows. All the volunteers were very knowledgeable and happy to answer my questions. And the littlest country kid was transfixed watching the "cow-cows."


After walking around the farm and the kids receiving a bendable type rubber cow toy, we headed for the car. We were exhausted and hungry. As we buckled up, my hubby and I both looked at each other and almost simultaneously blurted out "did you notice there were no pastures?" Now don't get me wrong.... I get it... they had a lot of cows. And to anyone who had never been around farm animals, this was an amazing opportunity to learn about where milk comes from..... but to country folks like us..... as impressive and clean as the dairy may have been..... the cows never left concrete. To me, and obviously even to my city born and raised hubby, this just seemed so wrong.

I know the dairy has the best interest of their animals at heart. I know why they do what they do. It was great for them to open the doors and educate the public. But for me, it was heart breaking. To never feel grass under their hooves..... to be ushered from one barn to another via concrete hallways.... Yes, their barns were clean, their cows were well fed and appeared to be healthy..... but to never get to feel the sun or lay in the grass.....


*** To the larger scale dairies, thank you for providing milk to the masses. To the smaller scale dairies, thank you for letting your cows out to pasture. No matter where your heart is on the matter, remember all farmers work hard.



20 comments:

  1. I can remember going to a dairy when I was little it was the most amazing experience. It was a small locally owned farm that produced fresh milk for the community,back before Louisiana banned farmers from doing it. I can still remember the mud and the muck as the cows were herded in from the pasture into the stalls for milking.

    It just doesn't seem right that a cow, a cow for Christ-sakes, doesn't get to see the sun and grass. Poor cows.

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  2. My Great Aunt and Uncle had dairy cows and they were let out to pasture every morning and every evening he would call the bull, Jimmy, and here he comes with the cows. He raised Jimmy from a calf and this huge bull thought he was a dog and would follow my uncle everywhere. He would send Jimmy to his pen and the cows to the milk stations, he had the sweetest herd you'll ever see. You could go into the pasture, call them and they would come over to be scratched, especially Jimmy. That was the best tasting milk I've ever had, straight from the cow, just refrigerated. I feel sorry for any animal that never gets out into fresh air, sunshine and grass under their feet, its just not humane.

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    1. Oh Jimmy sounds like such a sweet character!

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  3. Having never been to a dairy farm, this is eye-opening. Although we, as a family are all about pastured animals and raw milk, it never fully occurred to me that cows not raised thus way were actually always on concrete. Makes me want more raw milk and build our own little homestead/farm if for no other reason to give more animals pasture to play in! :)

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    1. I love pasture animals :) Nothing like letting them make choices.

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  4. That would make me feel sad too! All animals should get to spend time outside! The dairy looks like a cool place, but maybe they should add some pastures. California cows get to hang out in pastures, according to the commercials. And California cows are happy cows.

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    1. Don't believe everything you see on tv. LOL There are some laws I believe in many states that if they have over X number of cows they can't let them out to pasture!?!?! Crazy isn't it!

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  5. That's sad since they obviously have lots of land...

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  6. I was born and raised on a farm, about 45 years ago, now. The cows were in the barn long enough to be fed and milked, then let back out to pasture, unless they were sick or had other issues. I think God intended these animals to have "outdoor" time. I have to wonder if, at some point in their life cycle, not having time out on the "back 40" will cause problems. Besides, it doesn't seem natural.

    I'm glad the little one got to see some "cow-cows". My baby brother called them "moo-cows". And "biosecurity foot wear" left me LOL. Loved it!

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    1. Oh Kerry, the littlest country kid LOVED his biosecurity foot wear LOL

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  7. Thanks so much for linking up at Teach Me Tuesday. You are very much appreciated! Hope to see you again this week! http://3glol.net/2014/09/01/teach-tuesday-19/

    3GLOL

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  8. Thanks for coming and linking up at #The Weekend Social. Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST on KitchenDreaming.com ! I hope to see you there!

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  9. What about all that mowed grass in the picture? It seems like they would use that.

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    1. They did not.... they showed us their feed too

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  10. Thank you for sharing this with us at Simple Lives Thursday. And thank you for being so gracious in your post. It's a hard balance in a society that demands cheap foods and "wants" animals to be treated with more respect than they are. Cheap food almost always wins out. I feel like we've put farmers in tough spot. For our family, we've chosen to cut other expenses and spend the money to buy dairy and meat from farmers who allow their animals to be out in in the pasture doing what they are made to do. At the same time, I have friends who are commerical farmers and I have great respect for them. Hope to see you again this week.

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    1. It is hard sometimes to walk that fine line when your feelings get involved. This was a family owned farm and while I didn't agree with everything I saw, for my own personal opinion, they really did do the best for their animals in their way of doing things.

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