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Guest Blog

Read about different aspects of the industry from a variety of perspectives.

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There seems to be two viewpoints when it comes to grazing. It is either grain is poison, or grass is poison. Maybe those are just the loudest voices from either end of the spectrum, and we don’t hear much from the views that lie somewhere in the middle.

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On a recent trip to the grocery store, I found the following labels on milk and yogurt packaging: no artificial growth hormones, no rBST, no antibiotics, raised without antibiotics, humanely raised, animal welfare-approved, organic, vegetarian-fed, pasture-raised, grass-fed, sustainable, certified pesticide residue-free, no toxic pesticides, environmentally responsible, all natural, GMO-free, gluten-free, A1 protein-free, from family farms and farm-raised.

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Lately, my social media pages have been flooded with pool pics, airport check-ins and requests for hotel recommendations – it’s summer time! Vacation season! But we’re dairy farmers, and with the current state of milk prices, we’ll be lucky to get away for 24 hours.

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In Michigan, summer is well on its way. We are actually just finishing out a week in the 80s, which isn't very common for early summer. With summer comes heat abatement concerns. So often we are concerned with the cows, but calves should also be a concern during the summer.

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Let’s face it; those who have a dairy operation must love what they do. But we are subject to the same marketing principles that apply to other industries: supply and demand.

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It was in the early 1930s and my grandfather, George Elbert, was finishing up milking the cows and the other barn chores on one particular evening – and dreading what he had to do next.

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