Big funding for dairy research

DFC delegates toast tall glasses of milk to the new partnership with the federal government

The Canadian federal government recently announced it’s partnership with Canadian diary producers to promote milk in a healthy, safe and sustainable way by investing up to $10 million for research.  Producers will contribute an additional $3 million for a total of $11.7 million to dairy research.  The money will go towards scientific research at various Canadian universities and institutions across the nation regulated by the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC).  President of DFC Jacques Laforge sees this partnership as a way in which the government is investing in long-term sustainability of the Canadian dairy industry.  I believe that this a step in the right direction for both the DFC and the federal government and will benefit producers in the end.  With many of the recent food security scares like listeria, we cannot do enough research to promote the health and safety of  milk and dairy products.  More specific and intensive research will hopefully bring stronger assurance to the public about dairy products.

Breaking records one milking at a time

Record breaking cow 1362 herself

While Canada just broke the world record for gold medals won by a host country in this years winter Olympic games, south of the border another record has been broken- in the dairy industry.  Near Waldo, Wisconsin dairy farmer Tom Kestell is the proud owner of the newest holstein to break the national record (USA) for most milk produced in one year with a whooping 8 400 gallons (38220 liters)!  Although Kestell is a very modest man and says that “to me it’s something that’s just a culmination of what we do, it’s not a big bragging thing,” this is a title that very few farmers have the honor of ever attaining.  Kensell gives credit to the cow herself- number 1362- indicating that she comes form a long line of high producing dams.  A record of such magnitude is a wonderful achievement and although 1362 may not appear much different than any other holstein cow she was able to crush the previous standing record held by a cow in Marathon, Wisconsin.  I feel that farmers need to be recognized and appreciated for their contributions to records like this.   As we cheer and celebrate the success of our Olympic athletes, lets not forget to put in a little shout out to our farmers for all their record breaking as well!

Blogging: ‘Kristen style’

This week my professor asked us to all write a blog on our approach to blogging, so here goes…

Pictures are also a great ascetic to add to your blog and can sometimes convey just as much as your writing.

Blogging has recently become a new fad with the public which has opened up many doors in communications.  It is now known as a mainstream way to broadcast information in an effective manner.  Anyone can write a blog, it’s free and as long as you can use a keyboard, your all set to go.  There are many blogs out there, but how do you make your blog different and effective and get people to read it?  Well, this is the question I asked myself when I began blogging.

For me it was about finding a theme, but not just any theme.  My theme is about a topic that I number one: was very passionate about, number two: knew a lot about, number three: wanted to educate the public about and number four: wanted to learn more about and keep up-to-date on.  For me this was the Canadian dairy industry.
It is not always easy to find a news breaking story every week, it can be extremely difficult.  I get my inspiration from reading news headlines, commercials on tv, my university courses, and have resorted to writing about recent happenings on my home farm.  Just look around you everyone is inspired in a different way.  It’s been a great way for me to hone my researching skills and know where to find good news topics.
To me blogging is more than just relaying news…the public can find top news stories on about 100 different websites.  It is about taking a angle on the topic and conveying your own personal opinion on the matter.  This is what makes blogging very different than writing news releases to me, the opinion factor.  Connect with and entice your readers to think outside of the box, that is what will keep them coming back.  Keeping your blog current, active and reader friendly is imperative as well!
But above all have fun! Think of blogging as an adventure, it can easily take you places where you’ve never imagined you’d ever go.

Building muscles with milk

While watching the hockey game over the weekend and watching Toronto fail miserably yet again (I’m not a maple leaf fan), a commercial caught my eye.  In between plays there was a short clip for a website called Recharge with Milk.

Milk has been found to be one of the best post workout beverages!

I was intrigued so I checked it out post game.  I came to find that the website is sponsored  by the Dairy Farmers of Canada and targets athletes to choose primarily chocolate milk after a hard work out.  The facts are laid out with comparisons to other competing beverages, showing that chocolate milk is the best at providing an excellent source of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and glycogen replacement.  Although it is not an extensive website, it is a great start to educating athletes and active individuals that milk is the drink to grab after your workout.  Personally, I think it would be a great idea for DFC to partner up with fitness gym chains and university gyms to promote drinking milk and put up milk vending machines.  Athletes are always looking for an edge in which they can improve their talent and game…. chocolate milk may just be the ‘new’ product on the market!  I’ll drink to that!

Check out http://www.rechargewithmilk.ca/index.html for more information.

A new outlook on chickens

Watching this video may give you a whole other perspective for the poultry industry

As part of an animal welfare class that I am currently taking, I had to watch a video titled, ‘Natural History of Chickens.’  Now I typically try and stick to writing my blog about the dairy industry, but after watching this video I just knew I had to write a blog about it.  I would recommend trying to get your hands on a copy of the video, but please know that I do not suggest watching the video for it’s content or the views expressed.  The video is a PBS publication so originally I thought it was going to be an educational documentary, but it was unlike anything I expected.  The video itself is difficult to describe, so that is why I suggest watching it yourself.  But it basically led me to the conclusion that the media can distort a subject like the poultry industry very easily and quickly.  The video is very eccentric and expresses mainly one side of the story, in my mind it made chicken producers to be crazy.  Because I come from a farming background I was able to decipher and critically analyze what I believe to be actual fact or fantized fiction.

For those of you who maybe interested in the video you can find segments on youtube.com like the one I have included in my blo this week.

Justice not being paid in the dairy sector

Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt has received a lot attention in the public and dairy industry over the past year as he protested selling raw milk from his home dairy farm.  This was a serious issue and was dealt with in utmost concern by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.  He was recently acquitted of all 19 prior charges in late January 2010.  Schmidt defied Ontario’s public health laws and caused worry in many dairy farmers.  The fact is milk is pasteurized for a reason; to protect the public from the spread of communicable diseases.  It is perfectly safe to drink raw milk, but the problem lies in that the public is not used to drinking milk of this sort and it is much easier for them to contract an illness from raw milk, than someone who has grown up drinking it all of their life.  Many dairy farmers were very frustrated with Schmidt last year as he scafrised the dairy industry’s reputation to providing safe and healthy milk to it’s consumers.