Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Farm Animal Treatment & the See It? Stop It! Program

A dairy farmer’s job is to take care of animals. Everything that happens on our farm is centered on doing what’s best to maintain comfortable, healthy and productive animals.

We are fortunate to have a great team at our farm who like taking care of animals. Each day they milk the cows, deliver feed to their pens, make sure the animals have clean water troughs filled with fresh water, clean manure out of the pens, bring in clean bedding, treat sick animals, and whatever else is necessary for the herd.

Josue with a favorite heifer, Penelope
Andres carefully prepares the cows to be milked
Gregorio mixing fresh feed to deliver to the cows
Marco brings buckets of milk to the calves
Dave fixing the barn door to keep the cold air out this winter
Taylor with one of his favorite girls, Lorena #6616
 It’s inconceivable to most people that anyone would intentionally hurt an animal. Especially when your job is to take care of them. Our cattle depend on us to do what’s right. It’s important for us, and everyone charged with caring for livestock, to take their responsibility seriously. 

Unfortunately, a negative video pops up every once in a while displaying poor treatment of livestock. These videos are disturbing and difficult to watch. They are used by some organizations to convince people that the abuse depicted is normal behavior by farmers. It’s not.

I recently attended a national dairy meeting where I learned that 30% of the millennial generation (about 80 million people born between 1980 and 1995) believe farm animals are mistreated. This statistic disturbs me. Why do such a large number of young people in this country believe we fall short when it comes to livestock care?

Could it be this generation, well versed in YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other social media, have seen videos depicting poor livestock treatment? Do they think this is common behavior? It isn’t.

One way we display our commitment to good animal care, is implementing the See It? Stop It! Program on our farm. This program is based on the principle that giving caretaker’s responsibility to report animal abuse assures the best animal care. Everyone on our farm is committed to providing the best care possible for the animals.

Good animal care has been happening on farms for generations. Long before the See It! Stop It! Program was created. But in today’s world, people seem to want a written, tangible assurance that farmers are doing the right thing. Programs and paperwork are not a substitute for setting an example and making sure good people are part of our team.

The people at our farm create a great environment for the animals


  1. Hello Dairy Mom!

    I was just doing some research out of curiosity on the topic of factory farm abuse and its prevalence in the industry, and I was glad I came across your blog and learned of a true insider perspective, and quite relieved when you claimed that abuse happens only in isolated incidences.

    I was wondering if you could answer these questions for me regarding other kinds of farms (though I know you are primarily a dairy farmer). How well are bulls raised for beef production treated throughout the industry, and why isn't poultry covered under the Humane Slaughter Act (do they have their own governance under a different law/ordinance)?

    Thanks so much for your time and maintenance of this blog.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to search for information about how farmers really care for their animals. We take pride in doing our best to care for the animals we raise. It's a big responsibility and we take it seriously. I think the large majority of farmers do a good job caring for their animals.

    We’re dairy producers, so are not as familiar with raising beef cattle and poultry. I’ve listed some beef producer blogs and poultry resources that can provide answers to your questions.

    Beef producer blogs:
    Feedyard Foodie https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com
    Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom http://talesofakansasfarmmom.blogspot.com/
    Haley Farm http://haley-farms.com/blog/our-blog/
    Common Sense Agriculture’s Blog http://commonsenseagriculture.com/about/

    Poultry Resource websites:
    Ohio Poultry Association http://www.ohpoultry.org/index.cfm
    U.S. Poultry & Egg Association http://www.uspoultry.org/

    I encourage you to reach out to these people to get answers about beef and poultry production.

  3. I completely agree with this entire blog statement. It's such a shame that no one understands agriculture and how much we dairy farmers value our cattle and care for them deeply. Keep up the good work!


Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment! I’m opening the doors of our farm to share with you and enjoy engaging in discussion. Please be respectful in your comments. I reserve the right to remove posts that include name calling, slander, and vulgar language or contain links to websites that assault animal agriculture.

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