Farming 32, 000 dairy cattle seems to be quite an intense and daunting task, but to the folks at Fair Oaks Farms it’s just another usual daily routine. I came across the farm in a video that my Dad showed me at breakfast one morning after we had just finished our own am chores. At first I was astonished that they are such a large farm and could not get past the fact that they produce over 2.5 million lbs on 25000 acres of land. After it settled in I was amazed at how well they market to the public a positive outlook on large scale dairy farming.
I was specifically surprised at the message that they send to visitors that ‘ agriculture and the environment are compatible, agriculture and animal welfare are compatible and that milk is good for you.’ I was impressed by their motto, seeing as most farms this size could careless about pleasing the general public. More and more we are seeing ‘factory farming’ in the dairy industry with larger and larger quantities of animals. Fair Oaks has that same dynamic, but takes a different spin on promotion by letting the public see how happy their cows are in both milking and free-stall situations.
I’m not saying that every farm needs to openly allow the public into their facilities, but Fair Oaks is taking a step in the right direction. They have capitalized on this market and by doing so make large profits with their interact farm program. I believe that the profit is a big reason to why they continue to run the program, but it is extremely beneficial to the industry for projecting a good image for large dairy farming operations.