The big news in the dairy industry this past week related to the release an undercover video filmed at a dairy in Ohio. Over the course of about a month from what I understand, one of the employees filmed another engaging in numerous acts of animal cruelty towards the cows and calves on the farm. Many of my fellow farm bloggers have expressed their disgust and outrage about the malicious treatment of the animals seen in the video. Many of them also point out that the person filming should have reported the employee in question sooner or at least stepped in to stop the abuse. Considering the video was released by a veganist animal rights group, I guess the videographer wanted to gather as much footage as possible to advance their agenda. The cows on that farm must have been considered "collateral damage" in their wider war against animal agriculture. I won't go much more into this because, as I said, several other like-minded folks have done an excellent job expressing their emotions on this issue. There's simply no excuse nor room for animal abuse. None. Period.
On a more positive note, it's been a fairly productive week on our farm. We've finished giving annual vaccination boosters to all of our animals, and we had the veterinarian over yesterday to determine pregnancies on about 100 head. Among the cows, 42 of 60 were pregnant which isn't bad considering several within the group have been historically hard to breed. We didn't fare as well with the heifers though, as only 19 of 36 were pregnant by AI breeding. These percentages are much lower than our last herd check, but if you average the two together I guess we'd be coming out about normal.
Finally, I had a neat opportunity this past Thursday evening as I was invited to deliver the commencement address at Lamar County High School's graduation ceremony. I was amazed at how many people were there for a class of only 45 graduates. I shouldn't have been though, because people in small communities really feel connected to events such as this, even if they don't have a friend or family member directly involved. I don't think it was the best speech I've ever written and my delivery had its share of flubs and flat spots, but it was well received and that's what matters. If you have 11 minutes to kill or need a cure for insomnia, you can download an mp4 audio file of the speech here.
Don't forget...there's only one week left for you to enter our annual Milk Mustache Contest!