Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Straight from the Cow

This week, Chris and I are spending some vacation time at my parent's mountain house in the NC mountains. We've both been working hard lately and can use some resting and relaxing. My parents joined us for our first day here, and this afternoon my mom took us over to the neighbor's dairy farm. The cow fields extend right up by the house and my mom takes near daily walks through the pastures. But only recently has she met the farmers and gone down the hill to the milking barn. The farmer, and his dad, are good ol' boys but real friendly and happy to have us watch through the windows of the milking barn and pet the baby calves which love to suck on fingers! And before we left they filled our jug up with fresh milk-- still slightly warm from the cows!

This year milk prices have been falling in the grocery stores due to an over-production of milk, but at the same time hay prices have been rising because of increased transportation costs. Combined with the heavy rains this spring making it hard to get anything done, small farmers are struggling to make ends meet. So if you have the opportunity to buy local dairy products-- even if its a bit more expensive-- I encourage you to do it. Not only will you be getting a better product, but you'll be helping to keep small farmers in business!

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