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Milk talk: Another fair season comes to an end

POSTED August 10, 2010 10:39 p.m.
Dear friends, we have survived another fair.  We finished the Stanislaus Fair on July 25 and on July 28, we went to the State Fair.  The State Fair finished Aug. 1. Two weeks in a row of fair is very tiring but extremely rewarding.  The California Milk Advisory Board did it again.  They made sure that there was plenty of milk in the barn to drink.  We thank them.The talk at the fair this year was the killing of the cow.  At the State Fair, there was a misunderstanding between a Springer cow and the security guards.  This happened the day before everyone moved the dairy animals into the fair.One of the concerns that really moved me was the fact that people were actually concerned if the heifer that was killed belonged to one of the kids in the barn.  The heifer belonged to UC Davis.  The heifer was brought over to the fair to calf.  When they were unloading the heifer, she got loose.  This happens sometimes on the dairy. I believe that they should have been more careful and there was no reason to shoot the heifer.  It was a poor call from the UC Davis veterinarian.  Please remember, mistakes happen to all of us.  As always, hind sight is twenty-twenty. The fair was not open to the public yet.  I talked to a few of the venders outside our little world, the dairy barn.  I asked if they feared for their lives or if they felt they were in any danger.  They said NO.  I saw the video like most of you have.  Think about it, they were chasing and honking at the poor animal with an SUV.  I believe if all the kids were at the fair this would not have happened.  All they had to do was let the animal calm down then corral the animal to the destination it was going to be at.  No yelling or screaming.  The animal was not in familiar surroundings.  I know when I go to any city where I am not in familiar surroundings I feel uncomfortable too. A lot of people walk through the barns.  Some people ask good questions.  Some of these people are extremely educated people but some of the questions just blow me away.  Why do they assume that our cows are all medicated and full of antibiotics?  I explained that it is not so.  We do not medicate our animals.  They receive their vaccines at the proper time.Yes, some animals do get treated with antibiotics when they are sick.  Yes, cows get sick just like humans.  We only give animals medicine as needed.  If it is an antibiotic, there is a holding period when the milk cannot go into the milk tank and the cow cannot be sold for slaughter.All milk is tested for antibiotics and bacteria of any kind and to see if the milk is at the right temperature.  If any of these things are there, the milk will not be picked up and you will be fined and the creamery will have the right not to pick up your milk indefinitely.  So we do not wish for this to happen. Milk is still the best and healthiest product that you can drink.  It is nutritious and delicious. — The Milk Lady, Mary S. Fernandes 
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