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Telling my story


You may ask why a farmer is using social networking and other means of connecting like I am. Well the answer is simple I am tired of having someone else tell my story for me no matter how well they do or do not know it or how accurate or inaccurate they tell it. I am a modern progressive dairy farmer who is addicted to technology and as some say is just a “geek”.

My family takes great pride in caring for our animals and being good stewards of the land. We have taken the time to apply for several voluntary certification programs to show that we do want to do the right thing. First is the CA Dairy Quality Assurance Program Environmental Stewardship training and certification we have been certified through this program since its inception in earlier this decade.. The second is the National Dairy FARM program for Animal Welfare, our dairy was part of a initial testing of the program in California early this year and passed with ease.

On any given day or night someone from my family or one of our employees might be up all night caring for animals, forgoing lunch or dinner to help with a difficult birth, or missing a family activity because of one simple thing “the cows come first”. We put the same commitment into the environment (page 5).

For these reasons above I choose to speak up and out about the awesome job that my family and the thousands of other families do to provide food, fuel and fiber to this great nation and the world.

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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

12 thoughts on “Telling my story

  1. Kudos to you. It is a sad world that we must defend our ways of life for the bad eggs that exist. We have a beef cattle operation and endure and achieve many of the same daily tasks (and unplanned ones too) each day. It seems weird we now have to credit ourselves for just doing what we do each day. Best wishes!

    Posted by Bellana Putz | July 2, 2010, 6:39 AM
  2. Very nice post! And I’m with you on the “addicted to technology” part as well….LOL

    Posted by The Wife of a Dairyman | July 2, 2010, 7:47 AM
  3. Hello,

    Growing up in rural Vermont well connected to neighbors of farm families, I have seen the very bad and the very good of farming. There are indeed some horrible practices and some just not-too-nice ones along with the places/people who are thoughtful and caring of the animals that make their living possible.

    Please be aware that this is normal upheaval around changes. Not only have there been huge changes in technology, as you happily know, but many changes have come and continue to come in what is considered “intelligence” and “emotion” in animals, and therefore what rights animals should have. Unfortunately this change, although I think it’s wonderful, will cause growing pains. It is not a reflection on all farms, but on some long-held beliefs many farmers have had based on the “they’re just animals” camp.

    It’s EXCELLENT that you are showing the world what humane farming is and what it CAN be. Keep up the good work. Not only will it make people aware, but it will educate those who are NOT doing it so humanely that other people can make a living taking good care of their animals, and that not doing so is not honorable or acceptable.

    Kudos, and hang in there.

    Posted by Radiant Hen Publishing | July 2, 2010, 8:35 AM
  4. It’s so great you are taking the time to educate the public on this. The society we live in today is so far gone from the farm life of raising your own animals and caring for them. And sadly, many people will just believe what they see on the news and from the animal rights activisits.

    Being someone who has a farm, raises our own meat and milk animals, I know much much work it is to keep a healthy, functioning ranch. It’s a 24 hour job pretty much.

    Posted by Qadoshyah | July 2, 2010, 8:55 AM
  5. I just read your story via Associated Press. I think it’s commendable that you’re grabbing the social media bull by the horns and making it work for you.

    You’re doing good work, you know you’re doing good work, but the publicity seems to go to the people who have the worst news to offer. It’s important to represent yourself accurately in the face of sweeping generalizations and misinformation, and I admire your efforts. I’m also excited to learn more about food production and the farming community from the front lines of the action, so I’m grateful to hear you.

    Best of luck to you.

    Posted by Christian | July 2, 2010, 3:05 PM
  6. Thank You for all you do. It’s great to see someone actually speak for themselves instead of letting the mass majority speak for them.

    Posted by Kimberley | July 2, 2010, 9:14 PM
  7. You go on and tell the world. My Dad was a small farmer and raised his family on the farm. He would not have understood all the worry about animals. A farmer takes care of his animals, they are his income. I wish my grandson could see the farm and observe farming in the raw (so to speak). Keep up the good life.

    Posted by Nancy Williamson | July 2, 2010, 10:59 PM
  8. My dad, step-dad and mother all grew up farming and raising animals. The closest I’ve ever come to farming was raising some tomatoes in a 5 gallon bucket. But, I understand a life built around a career you love and a passion for the work you do. Unfortunately, I also understand how someone with an axe to grind will trash everything you love in the media.

    You keep doing what you’re doing. America needs hard working families like yours. And even if we aren’t in the media spotlight, there are Americans out here that support you and care about your family and your work.

    God bless you, man.

    Posted by Chris Pendleton | July 3, 2010, 5:28 AM
  9. So cool that you’ve got a blog, people need to see good farms & good people that are out there caring for the animals that produce our food. The press & animal rights groups are right to spotlight abuses, but we need to see the good stuff which I expect is the majority. I don’t think the spotlighting abuse is giving farming in general a bad name. Americans appreciate & revere farmers & farming. But Americans are a “stand-up bunch” & wont tolerate cruelty. The meat / beef industry should remain strong but CKP should be law, with oversight & punitive measures for those that dont use it. Of course i’ve no idea how much it costs to make a farm CKP compliant. Maybe the government could offer incentives. Your thoughts? Good luck 2 U & I’ll be reading your blog. ~ Chrissylong@Mac.com

    Posted by Christina Long | July 3, 2010, 5:54 PM
  10. Growing up on the farm, I early learned the value of stewardship of the land and animals, domestic and wild.
    I left the farm to pursue a career in engineering, but my links are still close and strong.
    I try to explain the concept of farming to the animal collectors who use and abuse their pets in the guise of love, but it does not register. Horrible overbreeding and inbreeding of “pampered pets” disgusts me and I see these poor creatures fattened, lazy, and incapable of functioning.
    Way back, I was taught that if an animal drank or ate something it was almost always OK for me, and it was true.
    I am involved in th QA side of the Natural Gas business, and recently here in PA, a small dairy herd was quarentined because tracks were found near a frack water retention pond. Now, wisely research fracking and you will see that 95% of the chemical used are easily purchased at your local grocery in small quantities and in almost 60 years, not one provable instance of contamination has been proven. In fact, some of the things reported more than likely came from municipal sewage systems or played out mines.
    A few years back, I inherited one of the young farm tom cats and brought him to suburbia. Well, the old biddy across the street who collects pets, decided that I was abusing him, lured him into her house and locked him up. So hilarious, he tore aprt curtains trying to get out, sprayed the house with his musk, and in general gave her a rough time. She had no concept of this indoor/outdoor working cat and sure got her due. Unfortunately, since I could not find him though, she took him to a shelter,where I found he was put down because he was “vicious”. I should of retaliated and reported her for theft and abuse also, but we country boys have more sense and better things to do.
    I often tell my young townie grandsons of the great life, but they have been conditioned to fear the outdoors, and can’t believe the chores I had to do.
    Kudos to the true American Hero, the small family farmer, keep telling the world about yourselves.

    Posted by CrankyOldGoat | July 4, 2010, 8:54 AM
  11. Ray,
    I read your story via the Toledo Blade/AP. Great use of technology. However, in today’s paper, there was a letter to the editor from a reader who was concerned by the photo that accompanied the story:

    “If farmer Ray Prock, Jr., was trying to build goodwill for dairy farmers, he used the wrong photo to illustrate his point.
    The cattle in the picture are crowded together and look alarmingly thin. This photo did not dispel negative publicity about the treatment of dairy cattle.”

    How do you respond to comments like this, from people who have apparently never seen healthy dairy cattle, and don’t understand what is going on in the photo? http://www.toledoblade.com/article/20100722/BUSINESS07/307229971

    Posted by Jackie | July 28, 2010, 10:18 AM
    • Jackie,

      The video is from the pen we use to hold the cows prior to being milked. They are in the pen for no more than 45 minutes. Some only stay for a matter of minutes, as the cows are milked the fewer cows that remain. As to the comment the does are thin these are dairy cows often confused with beef cows which carry more weight than dairy cows.

      Posted by raylindairy | August 8, 2010, 10:50 AM

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