I sure do like hearing "Scott, you should be a writer". I do have this thing going on inside, and I am writing about all this craziness that has surrounded our life for the past couple years. Crazy situation us wacky Trautman's find ourselves in, those nutty people up at the state trying to exterminate us & the rest of the family farms. Hilarious.
But I like hearing some other things a whole lot more; more than whatever vanity it would be, selfish, to shift this farm from the radical thing it is - a family earning their living on a family farm - pretty much just the family, too - not family plus millions in technology and things and people and an unquenchable thirst - shift it down to 'hobby farm'. God I hate being called that. But it's where some have got to keep us, in order to ignore the ideas, and the farm itself: working very, very well.
Things I like to hear -
"That really made a difference". "I'm glad somebody stood up to say it". "I think we can do this, farm for real". "That's not what I wanted to hear, but it's what I needed to hear".
I do throw around the word "courage" and "cowardice" a lot. I think they should be thrown around more still. Time to wake from the sleep, to question fundamental ideas, turn this ship around and head another direction.
A new 4600 cow dairy is coming to the state, announced last week. They're coming in from out of state, all over, to establish massive CAFO dairies here.
That means exactly one thing: That this state is friendly - easy - attractive to CAFO dairies.
While at the same time, look at the auctions, ads in the farm papers. "40 cows for sale" ""63 cow dairy for sale". Tons. Are you seeing anyone from out of state coming in to establish a family sized dairy? No you are not. Well, anywhere then? YES - Vermont. Huh. So are they attracting CAFO dairies as well? Nope, they aren't. But artisans, you bet.
So what's the difference between here and there? We have our busy body DBIC (Dairy Business Innovation Center), Center for Dairy Research, extension services, plans and plans to help create more - what ? Apparently it's CAFO's, because if it isn't - then they have wasted an incredible amount of money.
A recent newsletter by the founder and head of DBIC boasted of "400 new dairy plants" in the state. Huh! Went on to make it sound like things just couldn't be any better - especially with that smart little fiesty group there at DBIC - just burning through the money as fast as they can. Yet, what do they have to show for it? Not much. A part of the plan to rid this state of family dairy farms. Put a few trinkets - baubles out there - and call them the crown jewels. Hey! Look at this little hobby artisan dairy, making this little cheese, isn't that just super?
No, as a matter of fact it isn't. I'm looking at the family dairies swirling the drain - no one is looking out for new markets - no one is looking to make changes there, just one more season of prices that say so clearly: We don't want you here, leave, die, go away so we can get more CAFO's.
Can you really argue this is what the dairy processors want? They won't say it, because that would sound really bad. Instead they'll say what sounds good, but continue to throw up their hands "nothing we can do about prices!" Ha! But we sure can throw dollars at candidates and urge them to continue on this Master Plan of eradication of the Wisconsin Family Dairy farm. Last one out - turn out the lights.
Raw milk - why - there is something a family sized farm can do! CRUSH IT - we can't have that - make up lies - tell them enough times loud enough so that good people who don't know differently believe them. Get your politicians to talk about the 'dairy industry' and it's value - rather than the dairy FARM - the family farmer is out of date - keep repeating that - how many times until it becomes the truth? Never - but before enough believe it. Well - you've got the farmers themselves believing it - as these poor fellows become the ones to kill their family's multigenerational legacy of farming - they console themselves saying, "we're out of touch". We're not what people want - well -
I'm here to tell you that people do want us. When they see what we have to offer - when they see the power our farm has - the efficient machine of industry we are - and they start thinking a different way - well - it will be a new day, that is, if we see a few changes around here, a few of those "we're here to help you take all your money and give it to agribusiness" types up at the state - university - agribusiness - go away - dry up like the nothing they are.
But it will take courage. Who will have that courage? Any of our legislators? My legislators? Anyone up for reelection?
We will see.
We will see if anyone up there can break away from whatever it is that's so important to see a better future - hope - ideas - plans - reality - if we let it happen. If we continue on as we are - then I can see where that goes, too.
Open invitation to any legislator or staff to our farm tour, Sunday September 19th, 10:30am until noon; farm open until 1:30pm.
You will see something far different than you can see anywhere else - but something you and Wisconsin and the world ought be seeing a whole lot more of.
A proud, vital, thriving family farm. The pride of the People of Wisconsin - not the government - yet - but the People.
Scott Trautman - despite the best efforts of the State of Wisconsin, STILL PROUD WISCONSIN DAIRYMAN