Before I left on vacation, I had the opportunity from the United Dairy Industry of Michigan to join some other bloggers on a trip to the Goma Dairy Farm in Marlette, Michigan.
Yes, me…On a dairy farm… Actually I was quite excited, I love animals, and I’ve been on farms before, but never an actual dairy farm. Plus, I was really interested in how they’re run and what’s exactly going into our milk. See, my oldest daughter who’s 8 (9 in September) has really, um….’sprouted’ for her age. It has to be the hormones in the food we eat, and a few weeks ago, I was watching a talk show (It was The Drs, or Dr. Oz or something like that I forget) and they were talking about how many hormones we’re putting into our kids bodies which is why they’re going into puberty so early, and that milk was the biggest culprit…. This had me freaking out because we’re HUGE milk drinkers, why didn’t I raise them on organic milk? I did this to my daughter I thought… So a trip to the dairy farm for me, was a huge deal.
I drove to Ann Arbor, and was picked up by a nice comfortable bus, filled with breakfast goodies, bloggers and some dairy experts to help answer our questions and give us information about the dairy industry. Joining us was a registered dietitian Deanne Kelleher, veterinarian Dr. Ron Erskine, and a dairy farmer Katie Dellar better known as Dairy Mom.
Once we arrived at the farm we were greeted by the Van Den Goor family who own the farm, they told us a bit of their history, how they came from a family of farmers and the Netherlands. Handed us some booties for our feet (thank goodness because the idiot I am wore flip flops) and away we went. The farm…HUGE! They house over 2700 dairy cows who give them over 29,000 gallons of milk daily.
We were introduced to some cows, the maternity ward (lol) and the cows that had just given birth, we were also introduced to some cute little baby calf’s who were just born a day or so before we arrived. We were able to see how they house the cows and learn why they keep the calf’s separate from their mother’s (it helps keep down diseases, and yes, it gives the moms anxiety but they get over it quicker right away than if they let the calf’s stay with them and then took them).
Once we did all that, we were taken to the milking area. Yea, that picture you have in your head of a farmer sitting on a stool behind the cow, and milking it by hand into a bucket, take that image right out, that’s not how it works. In fact, the milk, it NEVER even touches human hands! Check out the video below:
Once the cows are milked by the machine, the milk goes directly down a tube, into the basement to be cooled, and then right into the trucks who delivery the milk.
Now what about those hormones? Well, what I learned is there is no GMO’s number one. GMOs are in food items such as vegetables etc. Dairy cows are not genetically modified. Now, they do give cows antibiotics, but they are for disease etc. Not to help them produce more milk, at least not the cows in Michigan. The antibiotics they give them, are for cows and that’s it. The human body cannot even process them, or absorb them, and since the milk is checked so many times, there’s barely a trace of them when we get our milk. Also, organic milk, not any better for you than regular milk. It totally set my mind at ease seeing the entire process and getting my questions answered.
I loved the trip to the Goma Dairy Farm, the family is great, they care about their product (milk) and care about their animals as well. My daughters are begging for me to take them now, so I’ll have to look into getting them on a dairy farm next.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the dairy industry, you can visit the Michigan Dairy News Bureau, Michigan Dairy News Bureau Facebook Page, and view the Michigan Dairy News Bureau YouTube channel. You can also find the Goma Dairy Farm on Facebook as well.
How would you like to WIN a “Get Mooooving” dairy prize pack that includes a Magic Bullet 17 piece hi-speed blender/mixer system, a $50 Mastercard gift card, a reusable grocery bag, a Got Milk? Baseball hat, and a pair of dairy themed socks???? Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter below…
Thanks so much to the Van Den Goor family for having us, and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan for the opportunity. I also can’t forget, one of the yummy recipes they gave us, check it out for yourself.
Choco-Berry Swirl Smoothie
2 cups Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt
3 ¼ cups Frozen whole non-sweetened strawberries
½ – ¾ cup Low-Fat or Fat-Free Chocolate Milk
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
2. Add additional milk to make the consistency desired.
3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Note: This recipe makes 4-6 servings.
August 21, 2012 – 10:58 AM - | Posted in daily life, Reviews | 271 Comments »