Friday, October 25, 2013

Undercover Boss goes to a Dairy Farm!


Did you happen to catch Undercover Boss tonight? I don’t watch much TV, but after seeing the previews, I couldn’t wait to watch it.

The CEO on this episode was Amit Kleinberger of Menchies, a frozen yogurt chain. He goes undercover first in some of the Menchies stores where he meets several hard working individuals that he’s proud to call members of his team and then one he isn’t so thrilled about due to her poor work ethic.

The first store was in Seattle and they showed Pike Place Market and some other attractions. I love Washington! The second store was closer to home—about 20 minutes away—in Bonney Lake, Washington. This show keeps getting better and better.

Fast forward a bit to the trip to the dairy farm in California that supplies the milk for the frozen yogurt used in the chain’s many locations. First, he learns how to milk cows in the milking parlor. When cows enter the parlor, their udder and teats are cleaned and then hooked up to the milking machine. This is usually for about ten minutes per milking. Sometimes a little more or less depending how much milk she is producing. Most cows are milked two or three times each and every day. Cows like being milked. If you don’t believe me, try being 10 minutes late to bring the cows in for milking. They will let you know you are late!

Milking parlor
Next, the farm worker, Francisco, was teaching Amit how to palpate cows.

I was monitoring twitter and several folks kept saying, “Gross! Did he really stick his hand up a cow’s butt?” It’s actually called palpating and you have a long, plastic glove on…it’s really not as disgusting as many people probably thought. Dairy farmers and veterinarians palpate cows to check for pregnancy, to artificially inseminate them and during herd health checks. It’s a pretty standard routine. A bunch of friends and I took an artificial insemination and preg check class in college where we learned to do this. It’s a very practical skill to have on a farm. Especially since bulls can be mean and dangerous. AI also allows dairies to use the very best genetics in the world to improve their herds without having all those bulls physically on their farm.

An old picture from that college AI/preg check class at the dairy. See, really not that bad!
He even had the opportunity to help deliver a new baby bull calf that he named Little Alan. When cows are having difficulty during labor, dairy farmers and veterinarians carefully help them, just as a doctor may help a woman during a difficult labor. Sometimes this means staying up all night watching the cow or waking up several times during the night to check on her.  

Dairy farming—or any kind of farming for that matter—is hard work. With less than two percent of Americans directly involved in agriculture, it makes me so happy that shows like Undercover Boss take the time to show people the hard work and dedication that is standard on dairy farms across the United States. We do what we do because we love it. Times are not always good, but we always love what we do.

I just love baby calves! 
If you have questions about dairy farming or anything you saw on the show, please ask! I would encourage you to visit a dairy farm if you haven’t already. You and the family will have a great time! You can also take a virtual farm tour and learn more about the various aspects of dairy farming at DairyFarmingToday.org.

Thanks for supporting the dairy industry! Tonight, raise a glass of milk to our wonderful dairy cows that make it possible for us to do what we love each and every day. Cheers!


2 comments:

  1. I visited a dairy farm. It was not at all like what was pictured on the show. I understand that some dairies are "nice" places (though I disagree with people drinking cow's milk and cows being used for what they can produce for humans), but they're not all like that. Maybe yours is, and if it is, that's great -- but don't pretend that they're all like that, please. Good dairy farmers should uncover the nasty places. :(

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  2. I visited a dairy farm. It was not at all like what was pictured on the show. I understand that some dairies are "nice" places (though I disagree with people drinking cow's milk and cows being used for what they can produce for humans), but they're not all like that. Maybe yours is, and if it is, that's great -- but don't pretend that they're all like that, please. Good dairy farmers should uncover the nasty places. :(

    ReplyDelete