So, I recently attended a Champions of Dairy workshop in the Windy City.
It’s good to go gather with industry professionals to talk and learn about all the fun interesting things dairy producers are doing to promote the dairy industry. I mean, who knew I had to go to Chicago to be the registered dietitian from Hy-Vee in Mankato, a town just a few miles down the road from our farm.
During the workshops, I felt a bit…..I’m not sure what i felt. I wasn’t angry, happy, disappointed.
If you know me, you know I am very upfront about a lot of ideas and feelings.
If you have a piece of food sitting smack-dab in the middle of your chin, you can bet I will tell you Mr. Pizza Bit is taking all the attention away from your beautiful face.
I mean, really, if you come upon someone that has a Pizza Bit on his or her face, that’s all you can see while holding a conversation. You feel bad because you know he or she has absolutely no clue this horrendous, ugly bit is hanging around and being an attention-getting hog.You realize that if it were you that had that disturbing little bit of food on your chin, you would want to know.
I respect anyone that has the guts to say, “Hey Kerry, you have a huge smudge of ketchup on your left cheek.”
I say huge, because, with me there is no such thing as a small smudge of ketchup on my face. And it’s probably not just on my face, it’s more than likely also going to be on my favorite white shirt.
I trust people who can say it like it is.
So I was a bit confused by what I was learning at this workshop. Seems many of them think there are topics that should be avoided unless someone brings it forward.
We were discussing farm tours. We host so many visitors out here, I may as well purchase a tour bus and deck it out like I’m as famous as Tim McGraw and need a bus to match.
Imagine the bling! It gives me bling-ching…it’s a chill that makes me want to Bedazzle everything!
Anyway, during this workshop several farmers were telling their story of giving tours. They didn’t like to take people into their milking parlor, because cows poop in the parlor.
They don’t talk about treating a sick animal with antibiotics.
They don’t talk about boosting their economic base with the use of rBGH. (Although,we are considering not using this on our cows because it is becoming economically unfeasible. It’s very expensive to use.)
They don’t talk about cows that are lying on the ground and unable to get up.
That is, unless someone on the tour asks about these touchy subjects.
Aren’t all of these topics in the forefront? Don’t you, the consumer want to know exactly this type of information?
If you have ever been on a tour our here on the splendid grounds of SKH, Inc., you know I don’t mince my words.
I tell you we treat cows with antibiotics and I also show you how we segregate milk produced from those treated cows.
I tell you that you shouldn’t work on a dairy farm if you don’t like being crapped on while putting the milking unit on a certain cow. If you don’t like getting splattered with cow pee, don’t take a job harvesting white gold.
I also explain how we keep our parlor clean, even during the milking process with water hoses and pressure washing. We have to our milk inspector that comes unannounced says we have to…it’s the law.
I tell you that I drink milk from my bulk tank because I trust the milk that I am producing and I know I won’t get ill. I also tell you that you shouldn’t drink milk from my bulk tank because you don’t work with my cows. I have immunity from being splattered with aforementioned manure and such.
I am very transparent.
So what I am looking for is guidance from all my readers and from those that have been on tours on our farm.
Do you like that I am very transparent and that you get to see life on the farm as it is, or should I tame it down a bit?
What do, or did, you like about the tours we have given?
Please be gentle on Steve. I know he gives the extended version of tours and I give the quick tours, and that’s OK. Those of you that want details would thoroughly enjoy a “Steve Tour.”
Please give me your feed back. I have another tour coming up and I want to know how I should shape our presentation.