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My response to: Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food – TIME


Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food – TIME

As a longtime family dairy farmer, I’m angered by TIME’s biased attack on agriculture in its article “Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food.” There’s no question that farming, like every industry, has changed – but the change is driven by a passion for our profession.

My father, brothers and I are committed to doing what’s right for our community, our animals and natural resources, while producing dairy products that are safe, affordable and healthy.

Today, my father, brother and I can operate our 500-cow dairy more efficiently to keep up with the growing world demand for our milk. Modern technology enhances individual animal care; for example, I can access whole-health history for each cow from my cell phone. Modern freestall housing keeps our animals comfortable and healthy – protecting them from weather extremes, predators and disease. Also, a veterinarian frequently checks on our herd.

We’re committed to doing everything we can to conserve and minimize our impact on the environment, too – from re-using 10- to 11-million gallons of groundwater each year to carefully applying nutrients from manure to grow our crops.

Change? Yes. Compromise? No. We manage every aspect of our farm in a socially responsible manner so we can be proud of the legacy we leave.

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About raylindairy

Ray is a partner with his parents in Ray-Lin Dairy in Denair, Ca. The operation milks 475 cows and double crops corn & winter forage on 130 of the 240 acres with about 90 acres of pasture. The family also has 1200 ac operation in Klamath Falls OR that raises alfalfa hay, wheat hay, and oat hay. Ray is currently secretary of the Agchat Foundation an entity he helped found whose mission is to empower farmer to use social media. He is currently a on the board of directors of CA Dairy Campaign, Dairy CARES, and is the 2nd Vice-President of Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. He is also a member of the National Dairy Board. In addition to his involvement in agricultural organizations’ he is the Chairperson of the Governance Committee at a newly formed charter school his daughter attends, and serves as a director for the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District. Ray and his wife Erica live on the dairy with their two children.

Discussion

10 thoughts on “My response to: Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food – TIME

  1. Ray
    I appreciate your efforts to do what you think is right. Though we may disagree from time to time I applaud your efforts at being the best dairymen that you can be.

    zach

    Posted by Zachary Cohen | August 24, 2009, 10:19 AM
  2. Great Job! Well said!
    Thanks

    Posted by Barbara Martin | August 24, 2009, 3:21 PM
  3. Thank you for a great reply!! We have a 450 cow dairy in CA and it angers me to have to read articles like the one in Time. It’s so easy for someone who has never provided and grown food for their family to criticize American farmers. Until the Time writers can grow 100% of their own food, they should keep their mouths and their pens shut while they chew the food we provide for them!

    Posted by Trayce Pedro | August 24, 2009, 5:01 PM
  4. Right on and (write on) Trayce

    Posted by julie jorge | August 25, 2009, 12:39 PM
  5. I’ll just take issue with a few points of Ray’s response.
    Suggesting that keeping cows indoors, never letting them experience natural life, is “animal care” is like saying prisons are a paradigm of human health care.
    Health records is no indicator of concern for welfare. We maintain accurate records for any piece of equipment, and to farmers cows are just milk-producing machines, not living beings with any life of their own.
    Vets have historically been reluctant to adopt positions that conflict with industry. They have not opposed forced molting and gestation crates and have approved of tail docking and ear notching of pigs, and battery cages for egg-laying chickens, consistently positioning themselves on the side of industry, rather than on the side of animals.
    The absence of evidence to back up these claims indicates an effort to spin words to present a happy picture of content cows giving milk – while hiding the calves taken right after birth, their milk taken by machines, sent to slaughter when their milk production slows and they are no longer profitable. Let’s look at the whole picture and ask the farmers who produce our food to show the truth.
    The truth – that’s all we ask.

    Posted by Glenn | August 26, 2009, 8:38 AM
    • Glenn you are entitled to your own opinion however I need to clarify some things some of my cows are housed in “Freestall Barn” where they receive natural light and unimpeded access to outdoors depending on the weather. “Inside” is also a relative term as these barns have open sides.

      Health records is an indicator of welfare-just as with humans there can be serious consequences for mixing two health care products together. We also take great pride in providing a safe food supply and these records allow us to do this and keep track of what cows need to have their milk segregated from the food chain.

      Posted by raylindairy | September 2, 2009, 10:36 PM

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Dairy, a lot of words, and the absence of meaning | Liberation BC blog - August 25, 2009

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  3. Pingback: From Farmers' Mouths – and HEARTS | Michele Payn-Knoper - August 17, 2012

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