Thursday, March 18, 2010

When the Governor Speaks...

Michigan Meatout Day, as proclaimed by our illustious Governer of the State of Michigan...

Whereas, A wholesome diet of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains promotes good health and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, which take the lives of approximately 1.3 million Americans each year; and,

Whereas, The number of those who choose to live the lifestyle of a vegan or vegetarian has increased and so has the availability and selection of meat and dairy alternatives in mainstream grocery stores, restaurants, and catering operations; and,

Whereas, Reducing the consumption of meat or not eating meat at all can significantly decrease the exposure to infectious pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter, which take the lives of several thousand Americans and sicken millions more each year; and,

Whereas, The benefits of a plant-based diet can consist of increased energy levels, lower food budget costs, and simplified food preparation and cleanup; and,

Whereas, It is encouraged that the residents of this state get into the habit of healthy living by consuming a diet that is rich with vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and by staying active;

Now, Therefore, be it Resolved, That I, Jennifer M. Granholm, governor of the state of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 20, 2010, Michigan Meatout Day in Michigan. In observance of this day, I encourage the residents of this state to choose not to eat meat. Eating a healthy diet can be fun. Explore the different recipes that can be created by using fresh ingredients and by having a sense of adventure.

After this came to our attention at the Annual meeting of the Co-Op where we sell our milk, the delegates quickly approved this:

Resolution Approved by MMPA Delegates, March 16, 2010:

Michigan Meatout Day

Be it resolved, that as dairy farmers we are bitterly opposed to Governor Granholm’s declaration of “Michigan Meatout Day” on March 20, 2010.

Meat and dairy products are part of a nutritionally balanced diet and the production of these play a critical role in Michigan’s second leading industry.

We feel the Governor’s actions are destructive, insensitive and antagonistic toward a major force in the state’s economics.

The fact that the Governor’s resolution states unfounded facts and allegations toward meat products indicates her desire and willingness to court special interest groups to the demise of a major state industry.

Stay tuned there's more to come....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

To Build or Not to Build!

Happy Spring!!
Spring you say? Well maybe that's wishful thinking, but today the weather was 44 degrees...that sure feels like Spring to us after many, many cold days of winter.  And when Spring arrives, it brings lots of joy and hapiness with it.  The sunshine glowing early in the morning and the moon rising on those clear and cold nights.
The Spring fever cleaning bug aways hits me hard, it didn't when I was young because my Mother was the Queen of Clean-ing (so I guess I didn't have to do the cleaning?) Our house and our farm were clean...all the time.  Well, maybe not all the time! Oh, and yes I did have to do the cleaning too!
This Spring brings us to other issues on the farm.  For a few months now, the cows have been a little over-crowded. This causes may issues, one of which is cow comfort. Now we pride ourselves on cow comfort.  Comfortable cows are happy cows!
So for the last few months we have been discussing how to eliminate the over-crowding issue.  We have two choices, sell cows or build a new barn.  After the year of 2009, which brought us the lowest milk prices in 30 years, we are a bit cautious about selling cows. So we are pursuing the option of building a barn.  Barns are not cheap, but we have another generation coming into the farm and we need to think about that.
My husband and son have been traveling around looking at different types of barns to give us an idea of some of the new improvements that have been made since the last time we built a cow barn.  We need to think about air flow, and cow flow.  Where to install waterers and where and how many freestalls to put in.  The freestalls are the stalls that the cows lay in.  They are "free" because they allow any cow to enter and exit at any time.  We need to decide whether to lay out the barn East to West or North to South.  We are currently laid out North to South.
With the addition of a new barn also comes the challenges of the overall farm lay-out. We need to really make some decisions on where the new barn should go and if in the future the next generation decides to increase in size, that this pre-planning will help with some of those decisions. We will continue to discuss these issues and more that will probably come up as we move forward. 
So look for news to come this Spring and hopefully some pictures as the project progresses, as long as the decision is made to build!  I'll keep you posted.

Until next time...
Wish us luck!!