Tag Archives: cows

Drought-stricken Glencolton cows hit the road in search of greener pastures

Drought is not just in America. Grey County, where Michael Schmidt’s Glencolton Farms are located, has also been affected. Michael sends this report and these pictures:

Dairy cows on the march. That’s the famous Glencolton Farms blue bus in the background.

Not in my forty years as a farmer did I experience a drought like we have currently. – Michael Schmidt

All pasture land is brown and yellow. No green grass left except the green trees framing the sections. Continue reading


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Did the ancient Africans milk cows?

From Thomas H. Maugh II, in the Los Angeles Times:

“Residues of milk fat on pottery indicate that Africans in what is now the Sahara desert were milking cows and processing the milk into cheese, yogurt and other products 7,000 years ago, European researchers reported Thursday. Ancient rock art throughout the region shows herds of cattle and even people milking them, but dating the art has been a problem. The new evidence provides the first reliable date for how long the practice of dairying has been carried out in the region.

The new data were reported in the journal Nature by a team headed by chemist Richard P. Evershed of the University of Bristol in England. They extracted organic molecules known to be present in milk and used radiocarbon dating to determine their age. His team had previously used the technique to date dairying to 9,000 years ago in the Near East, to 8,000 years ago in eastern Europe and to 6,000 years ago in Britain. Continue reading


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Handel’s Messiah, in the barn, among the cows, conductor Michael Schmidt

Photos from last Saturday’s performance, from Andrew Kohl:


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Handel’s Messiah with the cows in the barn at Michael Schmidt’s Dec. 17th

This just in from Michael Schmidt:

Handel's Messiah in the barn with the cows at Glencolton Farms

Click image to go to Symphony in the Barn website for more information.


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Turning cows into milking machines takes its toll on their health, and ours

From a post by “guest blogger” on “CrazySexLife.com” titled “Pus in Milk”:

“In NutritionFacts.org‘s video-of-the-day today, I note that the antiseptics used to disinfect cow teats can provide a source of iodine, but have been found to boost the level of pus in the milk of cows with staph-infected udders. Today’s dairy cows endure annual cycles of artificial insemination, pregnancy and birth, and mechanized milking for 10 out of 12 months of the year (including seven months of their 9-month pregnancies). This excessive metabolic drainoverburdens the cows, who are considered “productive” for only two years and are slaughtered for hamburger when their profitability drops, typically around their fourth birthday – a small fraction of their natural lifespan.

Turning dairy cows into milk machines has led to epidemics of so-called “production-related diseases,” such as lameness and mastitis (udder infections), the two leading causes of dairy cow mortality in the United States. We all remember the Humane Society of the United Statesinvestigation showing sick and crippled dairy cows being beaten and dragged into the California dairy cow slaughter plant en route to the national school lunch program, triggering the largest meat recall in history. That loss of body condition is a result of the extreme genetic manipulation for unnaturally high milk yields. Continue reading

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Pasteurization: “your nanny state boils the milk but you don’t have to drink it”

From Tuula on the Tuulips blog:

What dairying was like in 1929, around the time pasteurized was introduced. Photo via Tuulips.

“It’s banned in Canada and 18 US states, but it’s legal in Europe and always has been. Three in California were recently arrested for selling it. In other states, everyone from local police to the FDA take it upon themselves to eradicate it, even where laws permit its production and sale. Continue reading

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Genetically modified cows produce milk closer in composition to human milk

From Science Correspondent Richard Gray at The Telegraph (a U.K. paper):

Scientists have created genetically modified cattle that produce “human” milk in a bid to make cows’ milk more nutritious.

The scientists have successfully introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk.

Human milk contains high quantities of key nutrients that can help to boost the immune system of babies and reduce the risk of infections.

The scientists behind the research believe milk from herds of genetically modified cows could provide an alternative to human breast milk and formula milk for babies, which is often criticised as being an inferior substitute.

They hope genetically modified dairy products from herds of similar cows could be sold in supermarkets. The research has the backing of a major biotechnology company. Continue reading

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