Current Progressive Dairyman digital edition

Guest Blog

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


One thing that always bugged me as a kid was that our cows weren’t very patriotic. Sure, they’d act silly if they ever saw fireworks, but they never saluted the flag, showed interest in our national anthem and certainly never took off work for the Fourth of July. (Come to think of it, they were pretty disrespectful on Christmas, too.)

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When my adviser informed me he thought I should take a course in animal welfare offered here at Purdue, I was more than a little nervous about what stood in front of me. Having spent my entire life in the dairy industry, I had many preconceived notions about animal welfare, based largely on the efforts of extreme animal rights groups such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). In my mind, the dairy industry and animal welfare were two diametrically opposed forces destined to perpetual disagreements, with little hope for harmony. I now see this could not be further from the truth.

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