Trautman Family Farm

  (stoughton, Wisconsin)
The Grass-Organic Life in Wisconsin!
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2011: Focus on Raw Milk Safety

2011: Focus on Raw Milk Safety

  1. What is safe raw milk? What does it look like in the barn, in the cows, in the sanitation, on the farm, in the tests, in the taste, in the quality.
  2. How do we make is so apparent to anyone that will look - how dedicated we are to safe, quality raw milk? Consumers will be educated and make informed choices. The better the education, the more likely they will make good choices for safe, quality milk, and not unsafe milk.
  3. How do we come together in this unity of strength: to BE - safe raw milk, the best milk on the best farms anywhere -  and be an profoundly attractive force to the people? We have to all be on the same page. All milk is not alike. Most milk is very safe. Some milk isn't, some milk should be pasteurized, some milk we worry about, and some milk doesn't need it. We know the kinds of things that go with the concerning milk. No systems. No oversite. No responsibility. That is not us. If we serve many, we owe a responsibility to all to be as safe as we can be. We understand the model for giving confidence with the whole system of providing food safely.
  4. Who will take it upon themselves to spend the time - the sacrifice to be that model of safety and quality, to move us forward? If we truly all want the same thing: safe milk - we'll talk. If either party isn't - they won't talk about safety, will they? We that stand together in dedication to quality and safety say we want to talk.
  5. Who will understand that if we take away the safety issue - WE ALL HAVE TO TALK ABOUT OUR RIGHTS
  6. When will FDA, Sanitarians, Dairy processors see we are SERIOUS ABOUT SAFETY? We do get it, and we are up to the task of being safe. We focus on safety in 2011. Many minds, many views, one purpose: safe milk.  Join us at the table to talk about raw milk safety. We want the same thing. Safe quality milk. All three kinds: Pasteurized, Raw and Certified Raw.
  7. Is there benefit to all - with higher quality milk throughout the system - no problems - something good for a change in the dairy industry. Show farms with ultra safe and quality milk will bring up all producers standards of quality. A re-focusing on great milk - great tasting, great lasting, great safe and nutritious milk for everyone. Pasteurized, Raw and Certified Raw.

The answer to these questions: 2011: Focus on Raw Milk Safety

Make it REAL

Scott Trautman, Jan 24, 2011

 
 

Questions/Invitation to discussion

I am a positive person. I say that to say who I am, but also to myself to remind me of this. In fitting in society, to complain, to talk of conspiracy, really, to tell of how little control one actually has over their life is about the most common talk there is. To talk about and live in fear.

There are lots of people that are good at this.

And they are necessary, some anyway, in order to shine the light in the places it needs to be shone.

But what about fixing the problems. Here's the conspiracy, here's the problem. A guy like me asks, so, what do you want me to do? Blank look; continue on with the how-little-our-lives-are-in-our-control due to the vast conspiracy talk. Talk. Talk.

I was that guy, I have been that guy, I can slip into being that guy on a second's notice. It's easy. I hate myself when I become that guy. He is useless. But that's how I choose to - and do - feel about myself when I do. You feel how you like.

What's hard is solving problems; especially in a way that is fair to all.

When a person accepts for themselves that they are far more 'in control' of their life than they'd been led to believe, the work becomes obvious. Retrain to think from "my right" about everything, to "my responsibility". From what others need to do and I'll sit here and do nothing while I wait for that to happen, to, even if the other never changes, how do I get the job done anyway.

That type of tenacity, focus - we need more of.

I am proud to welcome Michael Schmidt to our farm, Thursday Jan 20th, 5-8pm.

Many of you know of Michael Schmidt. He is one tenacious dude. Willing to hunger strike, chain himself to a fence, to take on the entire Canadian government, and know he can win (while the talkers say what?). And he has, and we will endure and win. If we learn to think right about the job ahead of us.

I have asked Michael here to our farm specifically to inspect our farm for it's suitability to providing safe quality raw milk. I am ready to learn.

A group came here last April, and created a document that said - in words - "we the undersigned give you the right". It made me angry. They wouldn't be here when DATCP showed up. They wouldn't pay the bills - but more importantly - they didn't look all that close. Here I had quite probably the world's foremost authorities on raw milk - safety - at my farm - and I felt like I got a pass without being tested. Half of me is nervous, will I measure up, and the other half is, come on Scott, really, you run a great little operation.

I don't want the "you wonderful little participator award", I want to feel good. I want to feel like we're on the right path, focusing on creating the highest quality and safety milk there is. And that being the most empowering thing I could ever do. I don't need DATCP's permission to create amazing quality milk. To create elegant, confidence inspiring systems that produce the kind of milk that made Wisconsin America's Dairyland. And I say - will again.

Most that would sit next to Michael would ask about the fight.

I would talk about the farm.

I know Michael Schmidt is one hell of a great farmer. I think he would probably get more satisfaction out of hearing that than any of the patriot work. Speaking for myself, I would.

I want to learn more about what safety means to Michael Schmidt. How to inspire confidence - confidence being empowering - that's how I'm going to win this for ourselves. The rest of the movement will have to do what they like as I continue on my path. My part is to do, to work harder, to solve problems. Not just for us, but for 1000 new or reactivated dairy farms.

In 7 years time - with effort and focus - I want to see 1000 new or reactivated family dairy farms in Wisconsin. What will those farms look like? Who will be there? How will their existence change Wisconsinite's lives for the better?

I say these will be diversified dairy farms. They will be across this state. They will be the models for the systems they fit into. As farmers: None more responsible. As providers of food: None safer or of higher quality. As people: Happy, and shifting the idea of the Wisconsin Family Dairyfamily from being outdated to THE envy of all. Happy healthy families serving happy healthy families.

This, to me, must mean new ideas. A putting aside of the complaining and the conspiracy and it is out of my control and I need someone else to let me do anything mode. There is work to be done.

Are you interested? Can YOU do it? Complaining is easy. Doing is hard. Creating plans that work and are for the best of all is hard - otherwise we'd already have all our solutions.

Join me, and other dedicated positive people here at our farm, to talk for one evening about the POSSIBILITIES about SAFETY about OPPORTUNITY.

And NOT about conspiracy, old hurts, but about from this moment forward.

This is NOT an open invitation, send me an email indicating you'd like to come and I will extend you an invitation. Remember: Positive. Constructive. Safety. No anger, conspiracy, powerlessness. Come with an open mind, leave feeling strong and positive about the future. Put our minds right - the world will come along.

scott@trautman.net

Scott Trautman, PROUD Wisconsin Dairyman


 
 

Hello Stoughton Area farmland owner

I'm late at so many things. Squandered October I did, just did not get it together. But that's the way it went, and it has always worked out. The animals are cared for, nothing is busted, so here we are.

We are losing some of the land we have cared for so well. But I feel satisfied I left it better than I found it. It's the risk we take. In life, too, when you shift from cynical - what about me - to - trusting that it will all work out, that doing right in a smart way always works out in the end.

Dear Stoughton Area Farmland Owner:

My name is Scott Trautman. You may know or have heard of us. Most easily known as the farm with 'all the Jersey cattle' on it. It's sad it's so rare to see cattle, and on grass, that we're so easy to pick out. 2049 Skaalen Road, Stoughton WI, three miles out of town at the corner of Skaalen & Pleasant Hill.

We are radicals to the core, defying the 'reality' here in 2010:  We are family farmers earning our living from the farm. This is not a hobby for us. Your grandfathers would recognize what we do and a lot of how we do it. That which they wouldn't recognize - with explanation - would show a deep caring for the land, and applying the best of 2010 technology to the best of 1950. I happen to have a world of respect for your grandfathers.

What you've heard over and again is the family farm is dead.

That is wrong. What is dead is the ability to have one product/crop, one outlet for that crop on a family-sized basis (it's really questionable that it's smart on any level with how the deck is stacked against farmers). We sell 100% of our farm's bounty direct to consumers, which can't get enough of what we do. We're not 'marketing geniuses', either. We have a great quality product with what people want, and are willing to pay a fair price for. Grassfed beef, pastured pork, pastured poultry, and soon enough, the finest dairy products anywhere. We have over 500 customers, and they pay a fair price, and we work hard, year round, to provide it to them. Our entire family: Myself, my wife, and our three young children: Ian, 12, Quinn, 10, Lilly 7.

Whereas the 'big' farmers of the area will never have enough farmland to satisfy their need, as they gamble every year, compete with each other, we are very close to satisfied as we are, running 110 acres, making a decent living. We don't farm like they do, either. I would ask you to compare.

We build organic matter and improve soils...because that's what you do when you farm organically. We are proudly Certified Organic since 2005. I will gladly show you starting soil reports, and what we've done in just a few years. Dramatically better organic matter and minerals, which gives impressive amounts of harvest, most typically in forages for our bovines. On towards what your grandfathers left your fathers. This will make some angry - but they know - the soil was a lot darker when they started than it is now.

We look at all the sprayers going up and down the road, and fertilizer, and we wonder just what purpose it would hold for our lands. None. We get great yields, and only getting better. We return to the land what we take off. We'd ask you to consider our farming skills, when we don't need all that crap to farm, and don't have poor, weedy, bug infested crops, like many of them and agribusiness want you to believe we have to be without their poisons.

'They' have been running the land for many years. We see the erosion, the trees ripped out to fit the ever larger equipment, more chemical use and not less, monoculture rather than the interesting fields we plant. Corn, beans, corn beans. It's all they know how to do. And fencepost to fencepost. To me it sounds like they're poor. We're rich, and we think you ought enjoy your land. Seeing it in beautiful hay, and having a path around the outside to enjoy it, encouragement - and help - from us to plant trees and take up some of that farmland, rather than tear more out. And if you dreamed of farming? I would love to help you do that, even if it meant me losing your land.

My children are interested in farming as their livelihood. I am consciously working towards that. Step one, treat our farmland well, so they can see how lush and productive it is, and better every year. Step two, sell our products for a fair price, and them see how people love what we do and aren't afraid to say so, and Step three, us involve them in the farm, helping make decisions, explaining everything, and designing everything so you can participate, to the farms profit. 

'They' have no future beyond this generation. The children are the true test: they don't want to farm? Then maybe they haven't had quite the enjoyable time of it they might lead you to believe, by observing  mom & dad not happy with the life. What happens then? The farms get bigger. The caring gets less. More corporate. And they convince themselves - and you - that this is the modern way, and some sick warped idea that they have to operate this way under some duty to 'feed the world'. That green 'revolution'? feeds agribusiness and the healthcare business. As what you spend for food goes down, spending on healthcare goes up. We are starting to get the connection, and we are in on the ground floor of the revolution of providing the great food for healthy people. I am convinced the day will come where we are the normal ones - and not the weirdos of the neighborhood. Such is the nature of change.

I, Scott, if you would choose to be around me, as in, to rent us your land, would find me, and my family, the happy farmers. A big grin on my face, pure joy of knowing what I am doing is what I am here in this lifetime to do.

Yet, my mission goes beyond just our farm and the radical thing it is. I am working towards more farms, in this area, now. You see, in the next 10 years, the older farmers still hanging on will retire, and their lands will go the way so many others have gone. Farmland separated from farmstead, Every tree ripped out to create bigger flatter fields of corn, barns torn down, life from that farm, gone, forever. Sold to the developer, the memory of these great farming legacies, gone forever, not even their names remembered. So very very sad. Long proud farming legacies, gone.

Our farm was dead: it is again alive. See our beautiful animals, see the trees we plant, see the joyful people in the fields. People walk and drive by all the time; there is something to see here that isn't sad, about a way of life that is dead. Because it isn't dead. And it is so very attractive.

I speak about being rich and poor in a different way than most. We are rich. Not in a money sense, but in life. Those that can only make decisions based on things, and money, and right now are far poorer than us. We plant trees and make plans beyond my generation, rather than cheap to last just this year or my lifetime. We're happy, and we see a beautiful future we are going to create.

Won't you join us in making a better world? At least this corner of the world? We have and will continue to be generous with our knowledge, equipment, labor. I'm the guy that says YOU can farm - not what the current culture says, you CAN'T farm. And we won't be able to contain the good of our farm just unto ourselves. The grass, the trees, the animals, the happy people: it's infectious. And you can choose to be poor and still take advantage of this, so you think, or you can be rich with us and be a part of a revolution, right here.

God has given me so much. I have not earned it, I do not deserve it, but he has guided me to this, and a deep feeling of duty: More farms not less, productive, sustainable, beautiful, community building farms, not cynical, when I feel like it - or have to -sell it to developers, but generation after generation farming with pride, and making this a better community to be in for everyone. What would the effect of 20 200 acre thriving family farms be on the community, rather than one never satisfied 4000 acre farm? We used to know, we will know again.

I have talked to so many landowners, farmers, who are convinced of this terrible world, that's just the way it is. It's easy to think that. It takes no courage whatsoever to march in line. Yet it doesn't have to be that way, and I can show you - not just talk, but show you - it doesn't have to be that way.

We don't need all that chemical crap, we don't need antibiotics and all that kind of crap either. It wouldn't help: we have excellent health in our animals, nice yields indeed in our crops, like your grandfathers who didn't have all those tools: They figured it out if they wanted to stay farming, and we have too. We know so much more than even 5 years ago. This is the real smart farming: smart enough to make a living, be happy, and not put the cost of our living now on future generations.

I'd be happy to have you talk to landowners I have worked with. What I have done for their land. Show you the soil reports - showing dramatic rise in organic matter and minerals, without all the fertilizers.

Yet I will tell you, it does take quite an investment on our part, and a couple years to re-awaken the soil life, and we go in the hole to do it, and it requires you and I to have a partnership to undo all the farming of the past 50 years (nature is so amazingly resilient if you only listen and provide the little it needs). We have to understand each other. If you are poor, and all you care about is money, screw the land, convince yourself that up is down and right is wrong, then we really have nothing to talk about.

If you could yourself be happy - that you were a part of a revolution - taking back the family farm - here - now - then let's talk. I am not happy unless all parties are happy. It is no better for us to be happy and you not than it is for you happy and us not. Because we are rich, and to take advantage is to be poor - in spirit. We will invite more farmers here, train them, work to get them onto the land, work together - like your grandfathers did - yet with the intelligence and efficiency of the modern world, and the best of the culture of 1950. Yes, I believe we are that smart and focused. It takes neither to be cynical.

Come talk to me. I'm easy to find. Come look at what we've done. We started only in 2003, yet, if we were what some would have you believe of us, we'd have long since burned out, sold out, and convinced ourselves it wasn't our fault we couldn't make a living. Yet we are thriving, and working hard towards creating a better world with more farmers, not less - here - the revolution starts here - just outside Stoughton, WI, 2010.

Scott Trautman, Proud Wisconsin Patriot-Farmer-Dairyman


 
 

The betrayer

I am the betrayer.

I am the one entrusted with their happiness.

I am the one that brings them in every day, knowing that one day I will not let them out.

I know that day will come, and that it will be unpleasant, and that I will feel bad.

But I will be the betrayer nonetheless. And I will get over it, won't I? Do I quit, do something else, try less, would I be any the happier? What salve will I spread to make it better within me?

The line I draw is so much farther out than - almost every other's - yet I feel far worse where I'm at than any of them do. They know the circumstance as I do, and they never question it. Because to question it is to be inconvenienced, to feel bad, to have something taken away from you by giving to another...thing.

But I don't deal with things here, I deal with creatures that live, and feel pain, and feel my betrayal. Are they clear on that betrayal, that it is me that does it - no, I don't believe they do, and that is all the worse. I think they wonder of me, where is my baby? Where is my mother? Won't you help me? No, I'm the one that separated you. I am the betrayer. And I feel really really bad, but I'm not going to do anything about it.

Or am I?

I've been thinking about it for two years now. I know what I want to try. Yet, in my needs, I've put them below everything else, because I have done nothing more than think about it.

I do not believe they are 'little furry humans', yet, they share the same reaction of mother and child torn apart. They cry out to each other. Is it better they hear each other? Is it better that way, that that little life's voice after about three days becomes a squeak, unheard by the mother. What does she think has happened then? Have I killed her baby? So was it any better to have allowed this deep bond to form, then tear them apart, than to have whisked the calf away at the very beginning; nothing ventured.

So here I sit - amoungst the plaintive mooing of those mothers for their babies, and I think these thoughts. Yet - what will I do, what is better. Can I do more?

There are two things going on with weaning. The separation from mother, and the change in diet from milk to none. We've upped the time mom and calf are together to between 10-12 weeks from what was 8 weeks. The calves do far better; they are incredible.Yet by about 8 weeks - and now from 8 weeks until weaning, we get little milk for us, and it is quite a lot of milk, the peak of their lactation.

Yet this time right now is torture - to ME, but this isn't about me and my pain - because I'm the one causing it. Yet it doesn't work any other way. This isn't a zoo, we don't charge admission to see a fantasy in a fake world out of a storybook. The reality is that the boys will be meat in 2 years, the girls will enter the milk line at 3, and repeat the cycle again.

The vegan reading this will say, keep going, Scott, we'll get you yet - and maybe you will. I don't feel, like other farmers with meat animals, that they are the enemy. I do respect them living their beliefs; it is a sacrifice, and I do see their point. Yet, we do give the best life possible, but it is not a natural length life. I am the betrayer there too, for my own good.

Yet there is a balance. We do what we can. And I am thinking for the future, how do make what life they have the better. Will I do that if I think of myself as something other than the betrayer? Probably not. I'll just say, that's the way it is. But I can't. Which means I must try harder. I don't want to feel bad. I will always feel bad at this time because I do care, I do love these beautiful creatures, I don't ever want to not feel bad because then if I don't have that connection - I will justify poorer treatment. I will slide to where that CAFO farm is, to where that big Company president is, you are all just here and so much fodder for my needs. Give you the minimum and consider myself quite the clever - businessman - farmer - person. No, I can't do that, there isn't an amount of money that could buy enough pleasures to make that itch in my soul go away.

So what will I do with this terrible feeling, about this situation? How can the betrayer betray less? We will never take the baby away from the mother at birth. We cannot do that job better. That pleasure they have together, that beauty, well then, am I being selfish? I enjoy it. It is a convenience for me. Yet it works so very well, and other 'selfishnesses' are thrown out; sickness, isolation, lack of socialization that are the norm for calf raising, all in order to harvest mother's milk - that is valuable - the calf - and it's happiness - way down there. Yet, who's deluding who in what costs what? We never lose a calf. They are big, growthy calves that do fantastic. I don't believe that cows milk is all mine - it's the calves, and I participate in this to my profit, I have created that situation. Others must exploit a lot more. A lot more death. More labor, cheap as it is, if you add it all up over the long term: I bet you bottom dollar even if I cared dollar for dollar, I am in there competitive. But happiness? I WIN hands down. And that my friends, is what LIFE is all about. You be rich (in farming, ha ha ha IDIOT), and I'll be happy. You be the last generation and out, and I'll start a farming legacy that will go on for centuries. DEAL.

We will get beyond this painful part, and the calves will do great, the mothers will get back to contentment.

But I do take this time - and this pain - and consider what can I do for the future to make this time less painful. Yes, to me, too. Maybe especially to me; delude myself.

The two things going on: The physical separation and the change in diet: they are two stressors I am loading up on these calves. I ordinarily say - I get one. Add a 2nd, and you are asking for heartache. Lump weather stress on top, and you better place your bets on trouble.

How can this be accomplished, separating these two things? I really would like to keep 'the herd' together. The herd has a personality all it's own, just like a group of people together that's been together has individual personalities, and a group dynamic. With bovines, it is intrinsic to their nature.

I want to preserve the herd if I can; it will mean far less stress. We have a really really low stress environment as it is, we do not shuffle animals from one group to another, forcing re-alignment of dominance, which can involve fighting and 'bad behavior' towards weaker animals. Can I find a way to keep the calves with the cows, as a herd, as long as they live?

There are issues with doing that. We keep the bull - an important part of the herd I tell you - with the herd as long as possible. Young calves will start to show heats as early as 6 months. You do not want even a year old heifer to be bred and be a 'teenage' mother. So that doesn't work, exactly.

As far as the weaning of the calf, though. A nose ring - to keep the calf from mom's udder, because as the calf tries to suck, the nose ring pokes mom's utter, she kicks the calf away. Yet they can still physically be together. The problem is in keeping a very persistent calf from hurting mom (less likely) or more likely, getting that nose ring off, and then we start the process all over again.

What about the separation? Complete? Whisked away - completely gone, or let them hear each other in that separation. We keep them from seeing each other, but do allow some amount of voice contact. They're out there, they just don't know how far away. If the cow thought they were just over there, yes, they would break out every time I think. Our situation is that we rely on polywire string, charged with electricity, to keep them in. It really isn't much of a barrier, and if they wanted to, could be out at just about any time, but don't, with our lack of stress and our providing everything they need.

I have no idea who will read this, I do not care what the conventional people - actions unexamined for 50 plus years - as to what the animals want, anyway, just what they want - think about this, and I'm sure will think what an incredible pansy I am for feeling really, really bad. But then again, they're also the ones that buy and sell animals, see them die long before their time, exploit them, mutilate them, keep them from their natural nature - and they convince themselves that that's just business as usual. And they wonder why they aren't that truly happy, and aren't being treated very well either. Well, I'll take my pansy pain and anguish over their...whatever you want to think it is. I will progress, I will do better - and I'll never arrive at a point that says I've done enough. All I will allow myself is to say, I've done all I can for now with what I can do, and that will have to be enough.

Big Proud Pansy of a Wisconsin dairymen - still -

Scott Trautman

 
 

Progress?

Quite a weekend of "interchange" on David Gumpert's blog, http://thecompletepatient.com

I'm not sure who the 'protagonist'  is exactly, but I do know I am an 'antagonist' at times.

To what purpose? To dislodge the complacency that is putting every problem off somewhere where it's someone elses problem.

To every argument in this whole issue of raw milk, we have tough answers that require work, and easy answers that do not. For my part, in my experience, nothing lasting has ever come from easy answers. The sooner I got to the hard work - the sacrifice - the sooner the reward has come.

The hue and cry about rights - well - that is well covered, isn't it? That can be done from the armchair typing away at the keyboard. And some of that is most certainly necessary. But what about the real work - of moving forward on safety. Those that would say anything is alright all the time, especially if it's what I do, well, sorry to say, that is not in touch with today, here in 2010 and the reality of our situation. Our situation isn't right, it's not fair, but it is. And more can be done than we want to think, on our own, not needing FDA or DATCP or committees or others to start for us.

God has seen fit to put all the right things in front of me at the right times; if I have done anything, I have opened myself up to listening, to observation, to learning. Rigidity in ideas might work in politics (no waffling, changing your mind about anything is bad, right? Even on new information and thinking...), but it doesn't work 'out here' in the real world.

What He has put in front of me, well, many things, but of import now, was the story of Ben Franklin. What a great man he was - but flawed just like you and me. And the people, around the revolutionary war, and then the incredible document that is the Constitution - all flawed, quirky people, each with a different role to play. It could have gone so wrong - had every opportunity to go wrong - if each had not risen above themselves to see this larger purpose, and put aside their pettiness to get somewhere further.

Very wise men like Ben Franklin were at many points screamed at, accused of all ways of things, yet, they marshaled on. They could have - and my guess is - there were just such people - that got in a huff - and took their toys and went home - but we don't read about those, now do we? We read about the ones that chose sacrifice, put their own well being below the cause.

Especially poignant is what I read yesterday - a very great speech by Ben Franklin, at the end of the Constitutional Congress, when they had come up with this incredible document, yet, some were still unhappy with it - it was imperfect, Ben Franklin gave this speech that with the guidance from God they had come as close to perfection as could be, that they weren't going to get any closer than this, that they needed to be unanimous and work with the imperfection.

So too, then, we have this opportunity today - some will hold out for perfection before doing anything. Well, so much excuse for doing nothing. Others, myself included, will submit - submit - to others - knowing of our own imperfection, but our will to create something better, knowing protest against - is fine - but  work towards - safe raw milk - is going to get us where we want to be.

The thing I keep hearing from farmers is, and no, they don't put it this way at all, but it is how it is, is, I am one little mobile piece of perfection. If I think it, it is good. No review necessary, no input from anyone necessary, because I think it, it is perfect.

That goes nowhere. But that goes with the screaming for our rights - and completely forgets about our responsibility.

A few years back I had the great fortune to go to Europe. So I got to see different cultures. And I noticed something, that really stuck with me. I noticed the mass transit - subways - in France. All nine ways of impediments at the gates to cheating, yet, at every one, people still cheating. They simply weren't going to stop it; only slow it down. Then - we go to Munich, Germany - and there are no barriers at all to the subway. Just a machine to buy your ticket. I asked a German about this: How can this possibly work? Their response was one of incredulity - "how can we have a working system if people don't pay?" They couldn't understand how someone would cheat. THAT was the difference in CULTURE -

So this is what we need here - back to the future - in the age of W.D. Hoard - the early 1900's - groups of farmers got together towards the mutual goal of quality. Today? We are all islands. All the French and looking to slide by without paying - when where we need to be is wondering why that guy over there would ruin it for all by cheating.

The rights people want to be in the German situation - but they're working with the French - it will never work - when I know we need to find the Germans amoungst us and show our strength, our will, resolve, and despite what anyone else would do, we will work towards safe raw milk.

Is raw milk safe as it is? Far safer than FDA/DATCP/whomever would want us to believe. But if we go out to farms and see unsafe practices - we have the appearance of impropriety - we need to be bulletproof - and as a group - willing to put up with more now to get more later. And not worry that some are going to get something for free that we have worked so hard for now. We know what we have done - and there is satisfaction in it, and that will be enough.

Ben Franklin was a master diplomat. He knew that in trying to get the French and the rest of the europeans on our side in the revolutionary war, couldn't just be about the negative - wanting to be out from under the yoke of England - but had to be a positive - the ideal of what America stood for - and a good thing he understood this, because the just not being under the yoke of England didn't go anywhere - it went to chaos.  So I see the parallels with our battle - for rights, great. For responsibility, to something very very good.

It must start somewhere. It may as well be here.

Saturday November 6th, I am calling a meeting of those that would discuss raw milk safety at the farm level to our farm, here in Stoughton WI, starting 9am, ending when we're done. 

Fee of $200 per couple/family/group represented. Lest anyone believe I would do this to make money, and yes, we do need money, I will value my & Julie's time at $20 per hour, pay out expenses, and anything left over will be redistributed back to the participants, or, at your option, contributed to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

This isn't a meeting to bitch about the unfairness of it all. Or conspiracy. Or how great raw milk is. These things are well taken care of elsewhere.

We are interested in coming together, and finding out what practices we farmers - are following to bring about safe raw milk, and to discuss how we move forward - as a group - independent of any laws - to represent ourselves to the public in a responsible manner - what more are we willing to do - how do we change this culture of ours.

This is a small something. If only one person shows up - it will be better than none. It will be a start.

You can contact me at scott@trautman.net

Despite the very best efforts of the State of Wisconsin - Still proud Wisconsin Dairyman, Scott Trautman


 
 

What I am doing for the health of my animals and soil

What follows is my submission to become MBA Certified. That's Mineralized Balanced Agriculture. It is the idea of a very smart and influential fellow, Gary Zimmer, recently interviewed in Agri-View, and ACRES USA and anywhere else that farming, organic and dairy are discussed. I am honored that such a busy important fellow as Gary has been incredibly generous with his time to me, even as I have been 'me' which can be, ahem, irritating.

MBA Certified is an idea that those that do a great job in farming ought to be able to get more for their products, as they are superior products. Highly mineralized; of peak health. Not so complicated as Organic Certification, but an effort to recognize and brand something good, with the true value being both delivered and appreciated in a meaningful way. NOT like get your dairy as cheap as you can.

I most certainly am taking that idea in my "brand" of Wisconsin Fresh Milk.

MBA Certified, interestingly, is on towards what I want to see a lot more of in this complicated world - an intention based system, rather than on specific static unyielding and unsuccessful rules based system. I will certainly talk more about that at another time.

To 'unclutter' 'uncomplicate' yet yield the critical information that shows - not just talks about - but shows what you are doing, Gary broke his 'MBA Certified' brand - the certification specifics into two questions. Brilliant; as they can and do cover what people need to know about their food. So without further a-do, onto my response. As usual I will battle wordiness to cover clearly in what is intended as a 'paragraph' and not as a 'novel like War and Peace"....

What am I doing about the health of my soil?

First and most importantly, I have changed my mind to understand the critical importance of healthy soil. I understand and act as though my living comes from the soil, and the rest are just details. I have and will continue to give A1 priority monitoring, improving, and learning more about my soil.

Specifically, I have aggressively re-mineralized all soils we would farm; soil tests to guide, utilizing green manure crops, compost and minerals to stimulate soil life, and for building humus, stable organic matter, back to a level where our soils were found, so rich, so long ago. I have taken, from 2003-2010, 7 years so far, our home farm soils from the 2% organic matter range to the 3-3.5% plus range. I will not consider slowing down until we reach 4-5%. I will expand my interests beyond Albrecht soil ideas, striving for better and better soils.

Mineral balance - amounts and ratios between each others, as detailed by Albrecht and those (like Gary) in the 'Albrecht school', is as important as building humus in the soil. I keep an idea of a 'soil mineral ledger' in my mind, which corresponds to "Law of the return" - if I take minerals out, I need to put them back. With our use of animals, we will eventually need very little to supplement.

I am constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve our soil, and do my best to share this information with others. Because of our soil, and our aggressive re-mineralization efforts, we have healthy, alive soils, with very little plant - or animal - disease. Our forages are lush and our weeds as we have them are generally those of abundance rather than poverty, and more reflections of mistakes in farming technique rather than soil limitations. We have found the promise of mineralized, alive soils to be true: our animals are healthy, we experience very little disease on this farm. That is because of the soil work done.

With a county average of 3 tons per acre, we just about double that, with far far less fertilization than conventional farms would use to achieve similar results. As we build organic matter and achieve better balance in our soils, our productivity will continue to increase, we believe, outpacing the poverty of conventional systems by far.

We have shown - repeatedly - in how we choose to spend our limited money - in minerals for the soil rather than in equipment for our comfort or convenience.

Our living is derived from the soil. We will never forget that. The rest is just details.

What have we done for the health of our animals?

First was remineralizing & reawakening life in our soils. All good on our farm derives from the soil, and from the work done. We have made many mistakes along the way, but getting the soil right has allowed us to make those mistakes and be forgiven them.

From the foundation, then, of the soil, we have built a management system, with carefully considered checks and balances that results in low stress productive animals, and great pleasure in the farmers and quality in the end products, meats and dairy products.

We do not derive our pride from "quantities" of milk delivered per cow, but in excellent health and body condition of our animals, along with reasonable return in milk. We strive for compensation that allows us to stay off the production treadwheel. Raw milk direct to consumers is such a way.

Changing our minds has been critical. From arrogance of imposing ON our slaves the animals, to truly an idea that we are servants TO our animals, and that our job is to 'reduce obstacles in the way of performance of their jobs'. What can we provide that respects the natural system, and allows us to participate at a profit to ourselves? We understand and continue to add to our knowledge of natural animal behavior and work towards providing more of it, and less restrictions based on our inability to provide situations effectively to support the behavior.

We provide free choice Redmond salt and kelp, which seems to be all we need in our system. We provide clean cool water, close to where they are. We move away from soiled areas with controlled grazing; we have few problems with parasites. However, we do naturally deworm at critical junctures in the spring and fall, most especially with young stock.

Three primary practices illustrate our dedication.

Bovines are 100% grass. With balanced soils, yielding excellent quality and nutrition forages, we have the discipline to seek excellent health and milk quality rather than quantity. The quantity will come as appropriate, and not forced. Breeding for our system will require time to 'undo' genetic selection for traits that go nowhere good for us. Ability to thrive - even get fat - on 100% grass, are important to us. We strive to provide diverse forage, with a proven ratio of 40% legumes (alfalfa & clovers), 60% grasses, with 6 and more different kinds of grasses to provide strategy to all weather and conditions.

Calves with cows. Caring for their young is fundamental to mammals in nature. We honor that by leaving the calves with their own mothers  for at least 10 weeks (formerly 8 weeks, and quite possibly 12 weeks in the future). This works perfectly for the system we have created, we never lose calves, we need no supplements whatsoever, and our cows are content. In addition to the time savings for us in NOT dealing with sickness, cleanup, feeding - we allocate that time to other areas where we are truly needed. As our happiness is critical in our ability to serve, the most we have in our calves is the pleasure we derive in the observation of these beautiful little creatures, so happy, so healthy.

Milking once a day. Although I would say this is the one thing we do for ourselves, rather than emulating a natural system, which would be the feeding of calves several times a day. However, this too does serve our animals indirectly. We do not loath milking cows; we do it once a day, ourselves, and are happy in doing it. Time not spent milking cows a second and perhaps third time is spent in serving diversity in our farm, serving the needs of our animals and crops, and in serving our needs for rest.

We milk only enough cows that we can know each animal well; by name, names we call out several times per day - so we are acutely aware of any potential health issue at its earliest, so we are able to deal with it before it becomes a real problem.

Our excellent herd health and low Somatic Cell Count are proof that what we are doing is working. Our cows are bred in first service over 90%, 3rd year running, and zero problems calving and cleaning, no mastitis other than subclinical this year, with trend being even less. We have not even completely culled a first time for cows less suited to our system. What we are doing is working very very well, we spend almost no time with sickness.

Our systems are designed with service to our animals, not in their submission to us. We will continue to seek out ways to participate at our profit in respecting their nature. The concept of 'herd' is important; not reshuffling for our needs, but to consider their needs for consistency, and us providing as low a stress environment as is possible.

We have much to learn yet, and are dedicated to 'questioning everything' towards humility rather than arrogance.


 
 

Rights & Responsibilities

What beautiful days on the farm. Haying is finished until maybe later October, when the opportunity of Late Hay Intoxication occurs in me, when there is an indian summer for oh, 5 days or so, the trees are turning beautiful colors. I will cut some 4th crop hay, this just wonderful delicious grass that the cows will fight to get to for milking; that our beautiful weanling calves will grow so vibrantly on over the winter. I have 'taken' half the pleasure of it in my mind already before we even get there.

When I talk about it, I think about it, I remember, I visualize, it is made in advance in my mind. So too, will be our Farm Tour, September 19th, 10:30am until noon, farmstore open until 1:30. Thinking about my themes.

When I speak, I do not have notes. I haven't 'practiced' what I'm going to say. Yet, I have, in my head, 100 times, what will go into it.

How I develop ideas into thoughts into sentences then paragraphs, sometimes, is to hold a word, or several words in my mind, and apply them to what's in front of me. I have held the words arrogance and humility in my mind for two years. Apply it to current situation. And that has really taken me somewhere good, thinking arrogance and humility. Human arrogance, Human humility, submitting to nature.

Rights and responsibilities

Checks and balances

Quality Cost Time

I'm coming back to Rights and Responsibilities. But Rights - everyone has the rights thing down cold - it is my RIGHT for this - really good things - like "to free speech" - that is an advanced society - RIGHT to food - personal rights - right on - I am so with you - but I don't hear anyone getting fired up, like I do, about responsibility.

Who'd I just lose here - rights are where it's at - I want to do anything I wanna do - but only me and people that think like me. There is some kind of filter here, right?

Responsibilities. Alright Scott, you start then. Tell us about Responsibilities.

Okay - good - Yin Yang - Rights Responsibilities. They go together, don't they? It's just not the fun half, the responsibility; often just assumed, but in a pretty lazy way.

Right to free speech: Excellent, all for it. Responsibility: telling the truth. Ahh. See the rub? No yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. Responsibility: allowing some speech you don't like because the right is for ALL and not just YOU.

So much for the lesson - application to the situation, the emmination of my creation, what responsibilities do I, Scott Trautman feel?

I have the right to sell food from this farm.

I have the responsibility to do that safely, with high quality.

I don't believe I'm God, and I don't believe in things remaining static

I am in favor of oversite, in some manner - someone's' knowledgeable about what I do, with the same goals of safety in mind, that will continually monitor and improve our safety system.

If I'm God, I say, just give me the right to sell this food, let me decide what's safe and what's not. No debate, no investigation, just here. A nice convenient spot for me to stand in, doing nothing I don't want to do. I think that relies too much on extending this right to food only to good people. Do you have your "Good People" ID card with you? What happens if bad people or even good people with bad ideas make people sick? Then what? We will all lose our right. I need to be responsible. I hope everyone else is really feeling that way too.

I have the responsibility to not make people sick. To do what I can, and in the event of a problem, do what I can to get information out to my customers about it.

You look at that responsibility real close tho - that is way better than 300 million eggs - 327million pounds of ground beef - anywhere in our system. Now that's putting fear in the system - it could be that meal - your store - panic!

Raw milk from family farms? Nope! This would be in the hands of let's say 100 families. Bang - word out - so how about bonus points from Food Safety on that -? Nope, don't care, hate you, trying to crush you, we don't listen here.

Wisconsin's DATCP Food Safety group is corrupt. They are not about Food Safety, Food Safety is the club they wield, the weapon they use, to harass farmers - anyone, really, that they think they can get away with harassing. I would pretty clearly say, from how they use their time, that if my 'theory' here is correct, they wouldn't be spending a whole lot of time in Dean plants, or Saputo, or Foremost or, you get the idea. They'd be going after, oh, who who who - oh - RIGHT - struggling family dairy farmers & raw milk, legal in 29 states but not the Dairy State of Wisconsin. Right right right right.

Corrupt before we came across them, corrupt until they are removed. This is a cancer to the core; these are not redeemable people that can be given a pep  talk, a 'repurposing' a 'recommitment' to a 'different direction' and instead  of 'antagonizing' dairy entrepreneurs now we're going to 'cooperate' instead. Nope, Cheryl Daniels, Jackie Owens, Tom Lietzke, Glenn Goldschmidt have got to go. Clean sweep. One word instruction to their replacements: Cooperate. That's it. The opposite of antagonize. The opposite of arrogance, 'public servant'.

Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. Corruption is corruption, yet not a big enough deal to take it on by those that can make it happen. Alright, then, here it is. What I'm going to do about it.

I will be inspected, for purposes of creating and maintaining my "brand" - which is Wisconsin Fresh Milk.

These inspections, and certification will incorporate the applicable ATCP codes. It will include a lot more than that; it's design is for food safety and no other purpose. That safety, for our brand, is determined by:

1. Sanitary standards, recordkeeping, testing, checking. This includes the whole farm, not just the dairy facility. What is our idea of cleanliness and purity in the food? Here it is. Above what Food Safety would 'require' if they were interested in food safety.

2. Overall farm health; soils, animals; idea that long term health begets long term healthful, safe foods - as a part - along with the others

3. Animal health, protocol for include or exclude milk from cows. By our design, we know our animals well, That is important in detecting changes which give a higher probability result in disease being transmitted through milk. Already very small with our conditions, we make it smaller.

First, overall long term health is a good predictor, then sharpen the training on detecting problems in cows. That is called excellent management, and family farmers are fantastic at it. Now let's get paid for it!

That's 3 inspections, 3 inspectors to DATCP's one, corrupt little Food Safety  Kings and Queens, not-really-about-food-safety-is-it-inspection.

For #1, I had my inspection yesterday, by Art Johnson. 30 year field man, degree in dairy science I believe, very knowledgeable. More about his work in a future posting.

#2, that would be Gary Zimmer, author, president of Midwestern BioAg, Organic Farmer of the Year, 2008. Also a person of great experience, and as are all of these, not a one afraid to tell Scott M. Trautman you are an idiot. Frankly folks, it is the only way I know of to keep from being an idiot any more than I have to be, is to keep people like this around. Close. Very close.

Gary is out of the state until, well, the 19th, but he's agreeable to my certification idea, and him coming out and looking around, asking questions, observing for himself.

Two ideas I put in Gary's mind.

One is, Gary already has two questions he's come up, after wrestling with some kind of meaningful 'certification' for those farms that do a great job with their soils and cattle - they have - they deserve - a great brand.

Two simple questions that a guy like me can really go to town on. And you will see my answers here - what I submit to Gary prior to my inspection.

What are you doing for the health of your soils?

What are you doing for the health of your animals?

You could be real simple and say something just plain arrogant and stupid like "I Graze!" for both of them. So there -

Not me. No no no no no no. Lots and lots more for each of those. I could teach a college course on it, and not bump into prior covered subjects a little more familiar to people, hopeful folk heading off into a meatgrinder instead of to the happiness we've found.

My second idea, to simplify, to value this really busy and smart guy's time, is keep it simple, end of the tour, end of the questions, only one remaining.

Gary, would you drink my milk?

If the answer is yes, I pass. If no, I have work to do; and by God, I will do it. (and there always is more work to do, improvements to make)

 

And 3rd, my veterinarian. I have a choice even, a couple really fantastic ones, that will be hired by me to consult and examine my operation, my animals, my protocols, my training, and write out a statement as to my farm's competence in particular - recognizing health situations where we should be deciding NOT to put the milk in the tank. Checking overall health, consistency of our health (long term health begets safe milk along with sanitation)

For this moment, let's say this is my certification process for the brand, "Wisconsin Fresh Milk" I have created.

But I really would like you to compare for yourself. Which brand do you want? Grade A (I would so love to tour you through a few of this "Pride of Wisconsin (DATCP version) "Grade A dairy farms", so charming and disgusting), or "Wisconsin Fresh Milk" brand. Which would you rather be a part of?

Love to show you - September 19th, 10:30am until noon, farm store open until 1:30.

So much more to say, can't really give away all the surprises.

Everyone else is out there screaming about their rights. I'm sitting here thinking about my responsibilities. How am I doing? More of this, or more of that? Vote.

Still Proud Wisconsin Dairyman, Scott Trautman

 
 

What the world needs now

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

 
 

Why you think you so special, Scott?

"Mild mannered"

"Reserved"

"Go with the flow"

"Go along to get along kinda guy"

"Apathetic"

Not likely descriptions of me - or not from anyone that has taken the time to know me - at all. And it's not hard. Facebook. Here. Website. Talking to people all the time. I am putting it out there. Large segments really don't care for that. Not their thing, shouldn't be anyone's thing. So you know they would describe things differently. Just pay attention to what the various groups say, but then, -- this is the key - see what they do. See what they've done. Ask for details. See what is always somewhere out in the future, if only for some funding today.

We're having a farm tour on Sunday September 19th, 10:30am.

Reader - are you invited? NO. I don't have any idea who YOU are until you tell me. You want to come by? Fantastic. Drop me an email, and I will be pleased to invite you.

Who have I invited? I'm going to let that be my little surprise. I like really interesting mashups. Not songs - people. My Experiments Continue.

But in some of these more "interesting" invitations - I am "in your face". Why Scott, why do you have to do it that way? Why can't you just rah-rah-rah be a nice boy and tell us all how great we're doing and what it would mean to me for you to be there? Maybe I should.

But, you know. I done tried that a whole buncha times. When you're coming with a message that what they've been doing isn't working and it's time for some new blood to solve problems - well - that is never well received. No inward looking. The problem is Elsewhere to those Involved in the Current Conversation. And since nothing can be done about That, how about we have a meeting instead of doing something?

WHY do I WANT some of these Muck-e-Mucks to PAY ATTENTION to OUR farm. NOW.

I'm not going to ruin the surprises I have in store for people that come to the tour. But I can start the ball rolling.

Let's start at the top of the list, in bold letters, about 10 points bigger than anything else.

We make money. We sustain ourselves from our farm 100%.

How many dairy farms can say that for 2009? Any? Not a lot  of money; but our income - think a line with a good altitude - going up.

Expenses - like for a real tough year like this - no money for fertilizers - yet - expenses go DOWN - income goes up. The heavy lifting at this farm has been done.

We participate actively in the local economy.

We do NOT participate at all with ANY of the abusive agribusiness economy. We do not play "the game" that siphons equity from good hard working farmers off their farm, outside of their control.

No GMO "industry" support

No "Dairy industry" support

No pesticide, herbicide, suicide genocide parasite support

No Speculative sit in a chair moneytrader making money like a parasite off of farmer's work participation.

No uncertainty about our future - we are on the path - to a multigenerational tradition - while around us - the process by the above parasites to exterminating our proud Wisconsin Family Farming Tradition. From the inside.

We are firmly planted in 2010 - not 1950, and not in the picture of where those that would sell me on suffering and failure, 2010 would have me - either.

Functional Families having Fun on Family Farms.

Say it with me!

Nothing but PEOPLE - CONSUMERS - caring about us. You. Me. It feels really, really god. I mean, good. You really ought be feeling like this too.

That is a dangerous thing, folks - straight by the farmer to the consumer - and this is the dangerous part - screaming it from the top of my lungs as long as I can - to anyone that would hear it -

YES -

YOU CAN FARM. That's right - you - reader - you - YOU. Dream it.

I will help.

We'll change the world - one person - one family - one farm - one neighborhood - one state - one nation at a time.

Get Happy-

Get Healthy-

Be Relevent-

Be focused. September 19th, 10:30am. Church credits will be given, as this is a Come to your Maker meetin' of the First Church of Nature, with your evangelist, Scott M. Trautman - despite the very best efforts of the State of Wisconsin

STILL

PROUD WISCONSIN DAIRYMAN.

 
 

An Explaination, A Mission, A Passion and a Question

I have, over the past few days, specifically, made it a point to be grateful. To look around me, and reflect, how beautiful life is, and how many gifts I truly receive each day. A friend of mine, Tim Williams, told me this, he learned it somewhere, that if you start your day by being thankful for five things, you will have a great day. I read quite a bit of Dr. Wayne Dyer, and he is big on gratitude, too. And I have seen, in people I respect, and desire to be more like, that they, too, spend more time in gratitude than 'the norm'. The opposite of gratitude - is complaining - about - everything.

Because the world around us, the culture we've built, is one to bitch about everything. Nothing is right. If an alien - a spaceman - came down and secreted himself amoungst us, it would be easy to see how he might report back, "these people are miserable, what a terrible place this planet earth is". By how we talk - how we talk about the problems, endlessly; I look at it anymore that people actually entertain themselves bitching about the world around them. But somewhere along the way, I moved from being just like that, to desperately wanting to ask, at the end of a good long scather about - oh - healthcare, the economy, the housing market, jobs, Iraq, Afghanistan, pollution, the government - I desperately want to ask - "so what are you DOING about it?". I don't ask - because I know the dumb stare I'll get - and I'm fearful then that I'm making them uncomfortable. No one wants to feel uncomfortable now, do they?  So then I'm marked - I won't play nice and join in the fun; bitch about it all, nod my head in agreement, and be confident that the problem lies completely outside present company. We, ourselves, are blameless. "Nothing I could do!". It's the rich. It's the corporations. The government. Not our decisions - the ones we make every day - but someone else, somewhere else, out of reach of us.

Somewhere along the way I accepted in myself that I am changing the world. As I sit here now and breath in and out, I am changing the world. By such a tiny amount - but how  do I know - that perhaps I was given gifts - that I have been ignoring the signs, the encouragements of those gifts for a lifetime - that God - has been so gently, so persistently been trying to convince me to use, when instead, I deny them. And I bitch. A significant amount of time in a life. And by accepting that as my culture, our culture, I look at the world in a different way - I fill it with bad, because that's all I talk about, hear, see - I invite it every day through the news, the conversations I have with people. I make - I - Make - the world a little worse place.

Or, I choose to make the world a better place. To reject the idea that the world is a bad place at all. That somehow it fits someone elses agenda - manipulation of me - to buy something, to not do something, to do something - to live in fear, and make stunted ill informed choices - including doing nothing - in fact, that being the most often - doing nothing - feeling slighted if one second of my oh-so-earned leisure time is infringed on - becoming so incredibly self involved in the trinkets, the baubles, the nothing of a lifetime. A new car, a vacation, a new electronic device, a new amusement; advertising tells us daily how we cannot be happy unless we do THIS. Buy THAT. And we are on the treadwheel for life - never quite getting there - to contentment - to satisfaction, because then we lose the will to buy, we might find the energy to do something that helps one another, rather then the one another purchasing a service for that, buying a device for that, supporting a candidate that says he will provide that for free.

Somewhere along the way this beautiful farm of ours changed me, as much as I changed it. Perhaps the faith I had in nurturing it, putting all my good intentions, all my hope into what I absolutely convinced myself could be a better future - and did the same with my children; that I would not accept 'that's how kids are today', that 'the education system has failed us' and on and on and on - I took responsibility, I took consistent action, considerable sacrifice over time, and I have done so long enough to see that it does work, it doesn't have to be 'that' way one tiny bit.

It's so easy to say, I'm just one person. I can't do anything. But now I train myself to think about all that I do - I ask myself this question: "So what if everyone thought that same way, would it be a better or worse world?". I can talk myself into thinking - boy what a monkey's uncle I am - everyone else is 'doing it' - and here I am denying myself that thinking I'm changing the world - and I can convince myself very easily if I let me - that the smart play is to go along, get what I can while I can, it's a dog eat dog world out  there, no one's going to look out for me if I don't - but it's not true at all.

As my mind has changed, I have attracted into my life, beautiful, giving people. The rate of change has increased; my appreciation and belief in the wonderment of it all - and the radical humility that I didn't do this - but my creator - God to me, perhaps it's Buddah or Allah or even Nature - just something so powerful beyond yourself that defies explanation.

If I allow myself to be happy then I am; if I insist on being unhappy I am, if I decide there is nothing I can do there isn't, if I do, there is, if I choose to make my life about service to others I will, if I decide that it's all about me and my needs then that is what it will be.

I choose love.

I choose service.

I choose to surround myself with people that want more than anything to make a better world for their children - for your children - for everyone's children, and I will not be convinced otherwise by any one or any thing. I will stumble, I will fall, I will cry more than I ever thought I would, but I will also feel joy I never knew I could. I will give even when I know the receiver will show no gratitude. I will give a thousand times - if only to know the chance exists that it will help - I will be smart - and know that I want to do the most good in this life - and so I've got to learn, adapt, and grow, and be more efficient - choose my words better, feel humility deeper, speak from the heart more often.

I choose love.

Who will join me?

 
 

Suppose I had a vision....

It has been quite some time since I have written here. I like to joke that I time travel. I could as easily joke that I have been abducted by aliens. What does that mean? Time passes, where were you, what did you do. I'm certain I was here, wasn't I? But time travel - living in the present moment, thinking about the past and dreaming about the future. Traveling through time in my mind. Our children have a way of focusing me back on the present, understanding as I do how quickly they change, and that staying in the present moment is so important.

A friend told me about Rod Nuelsestuen's death by drowning. I told him, we lead far too interesting of lives for the farmers that we are. What next we both wonder? Well all this is just rambling, the thing I've been thinking about is a statement by Governor Doyle about Rod presiding over 'great change' in agriculture. Talking about 'his vision'. I don't think it included a whole lot of family farms, most especially not in dairy. So let me put it another way -

Suppose I told you I had a vision. A dairy vision. It includes slave labor. Oops, that's no good, step back a notch. Immigrant labor, just shy of slave labor. Poor pay, monotonous jobs, no job security, working with animals and having the potential to make danger - danger in the food (cue tearful dramatic music, our savior the dairy industry to 'cleanse' our filthy product).

What, historically, has slave labor, oops, I mean immigrant labor, meant? Much of the United States was built on slave, I mean, immigrant, labor. The transcontinental railroad. Early agriculture. Present vegetable agriculture, particularly out west.

What this low pay just shy of slave labor represents is inequity and inefficiency in the market. But rather than work through it - figure out ways to do a miserable job, say, with equipment, technology, well, certain things are just going to be done by hand.

Let's take, oh, say dairy for example. We have two ways to go about this. The present 'grand vision', is exterminate family farms, and make huge 'agricultural factories', with slave-like jobs and in many cases illegal immigrants. Who does that benefit? All of us? In the form of cheap food? To some extent, and yes indeed, we get what we ask for, even if we don't really understand what it is we ask for.

Farmers? The bigger they are, the bigger they fall. They too are slaves - the slavemasters are slaves, too. Giant debt. Continual pressure to reduce costs - and the cultural understanding that they can only get away with so much slavery - so much poor treatment of animals. Their price is in many ways imposed on them. Their masters, the dairy industry, tells them what they will pay, and the dupes that they are, they fight amoungst themselves for the ...whatever you would call it, to race to the bottom, and hope their neighbor runs out of money before they do.

Or another vision - a willing workforce - family farmers - like ours for example - that willingly, enthusiastically, freely work slave-like hours, with only modest reward for our labors, because we love what we do. That was good enough for hundreds of years. But that's not good enough for the dairy industry. Let's not argue it - genocide of family dairy farms in Wisconsin, thousands and thousands each year, deciding that the the line between servitude and slavery has been crossed. They are out. And the cute trick is making them believe - the farmers themselves - they are the problem - that they aren't the future, but the past.

Funny thing is, every study ever done shows that small to medium sized farms are the most efficient.

Then we have the Rod Nuelsestuen cum Dairy Industry vision - hey - have a few people we can still call 'farmers', who are actually slavemasters, managing a poor immigrant labor force, and better still - get the taxpayers to subsidize that labor force, all nine ways of programs to support them, don't allow the farmer to have that savings, either, but keep sucking it up into the dairy industry. Very clever. Very evil. Very inefficient.

The use of poverty immigrant labor always represents a problem with the system they work for. "American's don't want to do that labor". No, the people in the industry are good at hiding the real costs and real pain of that labor, while enjoying the benefits of it. Or as they used to call it, slavery.

One wonders just how a 'farmer' would treat these people if he absolutely knew no one would ever see what he was doing. Nope, that's not an option, but re-defining up as down and wrong as right is a real good start. Why, they are helping these people. They aren't beating them, right? They are grateful for their jobs. Just like the africans brought across, see those arguments - look where they came from, look what a better life we give them here. Sure, no 'American' would tolerate that, but it's so much better than where they came from. Fix where they came from? Stop thinking like that, we're heroes we are, these poor unwashed savages we employee. We don't physically beat them (anymore), we just in the most friendly way pay them next to nothing, give them no job security, a hard repetitive boring job to do, and that is heroic. Just like the slaveowners of old would try and convince you  of.

Or we support a reasonable price - and whole families that work night and day to deliver value - in the most efficient ways possible - with pride - leaving a legacy from generation to generation - in and of itself showing success - what slave would pass on slavery to his children if their was another option -

So this is this 'vision' this 'reality' this 'the way it is' - pass off slavery as noble to line the pockets of a few, and in so many many ways, pass off the real costs of what they do onto the rest of us to pay. Very clever. Very evil.

That's the Dairy Industry, the one Rod Nuelsestuen supported and was supported by.

As we figured out - over hundreds of years - slavery is not okay. We will push that line up and believe - and act on - the belief that a sliver away from slavery is also not okay. Then we will focus our energy, our creativity on creating good jobs that lift us all. Then we will enter the New Golden Age of Dairy in Wisconsin, one with a happy, healthy people, and content and prosperous family farmers, living in peace.

That is if the "visionaries" don't exterminate all of them first.

Still Proud Wisconsin Dairyman, Scott Trautman


 
 

Fathers Day....

I received my fathers day gift yesterday.

It was in the form of time spent with my younger son, Quinn, fixing the round baler. I'd split two belts at their join point, which is where they break apart. Not a big deal; a process to cut the ragged edge off, put a set of new belt splicing teeth into the belt splicing machine, clamp it on the end of the belt, put them together, off you go.

Could have, and have, done it myself many times. But I asked for help from Quinn, in order that it is more efficient, two sets of hands work better, and to show him how to do this task; it is amazing how fast these kids catch on - and then can take that task off your back - but - the true purpose was to 'be in proximity' to each other - to work together.

This time of year is always super busy. Most times of the year, it seems, is super busy. No time...for...what? Those simple moments of togetherness. You live your life like a checklist of things to do - when life is in the moments between, like yesterday.

We didn't have any amazing dialog, what we had was a comfort, a pleasure, both of us - in knowing we were getting something worthwhile done, and spending time together. None of my infamous impatience reared its head; and best yet, is, I recognized the moment, in the moment, for the true pleasure it was, the real life in between the tasks of life.

Quinn is the middle child. Middle children can often feel left out. In the middle, between the oldest and the youngest, each of which have their own special attentions. Quinn has some problems with his reading, even though he is really really smart. So he's got confidence issues, and I feel like I need to work with him on them. I make an extra effort in that way, like I try to make extra efforts that match the personalities and needs of the other two. Lilly, a young daughter, and Ian, an oldest son.

As busy as we are - we make time - in bursts - in shots - to connect in a real way. Some would say - ahem - and the kids - Lilly in particular - has mentioned just such a thing - is we had children to work on the farm. Well that is an old one, isn't it? Not like modern society where nothing is expected of the children but what....well, yes, we do need our children to work. And they don't mind, and some day, they will appreciate - and society will appreciate - what is under appreciated now. I can take future pleasure in it now, though - knowing that will be the case.

Ian, my oldest, son, what a great kid he is. I really enjoy working with him. I look forward to working for him one day. Shutting up, smiling, doing as he asks, watching him lead, remembering these days right now when roles were often, but not always, reversed. They are listening, absorbing, taking it all in. And how are we teaching, what we intend - and what we don't intend - the do as I say not as I do imperfections we each have.

Lilly, well, bossy little thing she is, she's going to tell ALL of us what to do one day. Not afraid to get in the thick of it, great sense of humor, easy friend maker, she too, will go far.

I feel grateful - blessed - that somewhere along the way I discovered the secret to a happy life. Being in the moment, visualizing the future you want - and then doing what you know you need to do to get there. I have so many jobs, so many roles, that I take so seriously, and think I work so hard at, yet on any given day, also believe I have so much more to do and I surely can work harder than....this.

In the "surely can work harder than....this..." category. I do not believe anyone...could beat...Julie in this. Mom, VP Sales, Chicken Leader, Mommy experience expert, wife, chief cleaner upper of messes, President of Everything that Matters which is Everything, despite what I might THINK I'm in charge of.....

I take great pleasure here, too, in the synchronicity we have, the synergy, the whole is definitely much greater than the parts, what either of us could accomplish separately. Not...destined....for...an...ordinary....life, nope, not us Trautmans, sorry, just not going to happen.

We spend a lot of time together all of us. I grab a kid to go do fence. Julie grabs a child to get ready to milk. Ian, Quinn, go feed the pigs. Every day we log the time - the time - the time - the time together - not cramming it into artificial quality moments, which can be purchased at any retailer of your choice. Time together. Ours happens to be in working, but what then, I would ask, is work. We like our work. We love our work.

Ask yourself. Your neighbor. Your friend. What was life like, oh so long ago, growing up on the farm. Was it good, like this? Of course it was. And hard, like life is, too. In different ways than today.

We have something very special here - the best of the old, with the best of the new, the best of the now. Same deal, so many other families, just like ours. Tomorrow's leaders - I guarantee you that.

Yet - our Dairy Industry - DATCP - our Governor - want us exterminated. Why no, they won't SAY that, that would be stupid. Better yet, they can convince themselves - and be that convincing, that great actor, too in believing something else. But Exterminating Wisconsin Family Farms is what they are doing. For their own good, in laziness, in convenience, they are thieves of the worst sort - killers of the worst sort - stealing the future from our and their children by exterminating just what you have heard here.

What we do here works. 1000 farms like ours? YES. A better world, guaranteed. Or 1000 more cows on a CAFO, 1000 less family farms, that's a good start, right their Rod? Jackie? Glenn? Jim? Mike? Cathleen? Will you recognize your own evil in your lifetime, or....

Yes folks, it does all tie together. We will NEVER give in, never give up. But how many farms will be gone forever, futures that could have gone a different way. I hope those of you that would exterminate us - I hope that is your hell - your everlasting hell - is to see over and over and over the families that could have been - the world that could have been - that you exterminated. That is the hell for you.

Quite a sour turn there, eh? Well the turn isn't for me, for us, you can tell that sure. I am the most blessed person there could be. I appreciate all, in the moment, and am joyful in the wonderment of everyday miracles, of simple life, really lived.

Happy fathers day!

 

Scott Trautman, PROUD Wisconsin Dairyman - as long as YOU - YOU - YOU dear reader will let me be -

 
 

Look into the Future...

Perspective.

Of time; of place; of relationships. Where are we at. Where are we going. What is life going to be like, in the future.

For me: I sure don't know. When you have a State that is bent on your extermination, like DATCP is to family farms, and an especially mouthy one like me, hard to say.

I don't know what the future holds, but I can guess, and I can work towards the future I want. And I do.

I am quite confident the future is bright. We will get beyond all this - and there is a lot of 'this' in life today.

When I look out into the future, I have example from my past.

I owned and ran an Internet company for 10 years. I had some 4500 customers at the peak across southern Wisconsin. The most of them knew who I was, and what I stood for. When I meet them in random encounters - I am proud of how I conducted myself in my business, and I welcome those encounters. They are in fact, a little jolt of positive energy. All the hard work, the sacrifice then, was worth it. Yet again.

Same will be for future, for me, others regarding raw milk. I'll be somewhere and someone will say "Raw Milk!". And a jolt of pride - pride in how I have conducted myself - is what I'll get.

So what then, will Steve Ingham, Cheryl Daniels, Jackie Owens, Tom Lietzke, Kathleen Anderson, Glen Goldschmidt. Even Scott Rankin and some of the more public toadies. You know - that would desperately like to convince themselves they are in the right, or if they aren't in the right, they're doing their job.

Your names are out there now, and lots and lots and lots of people are getting to know you - for what? And so - pick a point in the future - say your grandson's graduation - and that friend of your son's says "hey - Raw Milk -"

What's your reaction going to be? Shame? Anger? Upset? For how long? How many years will it take to not go straight to boil, knowing what side you're on - and what people think of you. And every time - you spend how long, working the thoughts over in your head, I was just doing my job....I was just doing my job....you hurt people. Lots of them. You know that. You try and convince yourself you didn't. Doesn't work, and there will be lots and lots and lots of reminders.

So, got an example for ya there, too. Of the past. Prior to my Internet days, I was a consultant. I was asked by my boss to lie to a customer. And oh, this boss put it so nice, and made it sound so good and right, but you know how you feel inside - conflicted - upset - when you know right from wrong - and you are on the wrong side - you know it and it causes upset. It keeps coming back up into your mind. Maybe you overeat, maybe you're angry a lot, maybe you drink too much.

Or, in my case, within 2 months, I quit that job. No job to go to, but I wasn't going to live like that. My integrity was too important to me. What my values were - and are - mattered more than some great health plan, retirement program, things - things - I would value above  my integrity -

I quit that job, started the Internet company, sold that, and here I am farmer and activist - someone trying real hard to make the world a better place. Who I am - where I am - my place in the universe - would not be this if I hadn't quit then; had the courage of my convictions and did the right thing even when the future was scary and uncertain.

But it worked out - as being true to yourself does - And now we have friends, really good friends and lots of them, more every day. Joy - peace - a sense of worth, purpose and place. Where would I be if I had decided heck, a few lies won't hurt them, heck, I have a family. I have <insert excuse for horror here>, and see, that makes it justified, right?

I wonder what a Jackie Owens thinks her future is going to be like. Could you convince yourself that this will all be over one day? We'll have exterminated all the family farmers, we will have snowed the public, and then when people say "Raw Milk" to me, I smile and am happy. Is that one of the possibilities do you think? Boy and you'd say I'm a dreamer.

I look forward into the future - and I see peace - joy - and raw milk - healthy happy people - and farmers - more not less - but I can believe it will get worse before it gets better. Nothing worth having comes free, and the harder you work, the better it is appreciated. Well then, boy will it be appreciated.

For now, I have all I need. Yesterday, in a pissy mood, just stewing in my own juices, I'm in the yard working on the compost spreader. My kids, who had been playing army around the barn, were heading back to the house. Quinn calls to Ian, hey Ian, let's ....insert fun kid thing here....

....but Ian makes a line for me.

Now - when I'm "in a mood" - I am sending out waves of "stay away!!". And that is for a reason.

Yet - my son Ian, knowing this still, knows me. Loves me, helps me.

"Dad, hey, you need some help?".

Yeah, Ian, I could sure use a hand with this. And I could. An extra pair of hands was exactly what I needed. Ian has good ideas about things; so he's not just doing what I ask, he's thinking about the problem, and how he can help. And he can sense - as I know - I feel better with him there. His 'being' - his presence is healing, calming, helping. Was I thinking that way when I was his age? Would I have approached me with my "stay away" sign on?

What capabilities this boy will have. And I look into that future - I dream - would he become someone like Steve Ingham? Jackie Owens? Cheryl Daniels? Tom Lietzke? Glen Goldschmidt? Rod Nuelsestuen? Jim Doyle?

What are you putting in your minds right now on that. An important life and doing one's best to create a better world - even one human at a time - or what? A sweet government job with great healthcare, every conceivable day off, yet, what's missing. From life.

There's nothing missing from life here - no matter what happens - no matter what they do to us - no matter where life takes - us. We'll be alright. We have love; we have peace, we have purpose. We don't have money, we don't have certainty. I wouldn't trade places; couldn't trade places. I couldn't live with myself. But, that's just me folks! Have a great day!

Scott Trautman, PROUD Wisconsin Dairyman

 
 

We will not go away willingly....

I have written a variation of this to several people over the past days. It is current, it is exciting, I would tell everyone, but it is especially important for me to tell - because it is hope. It is positive energy, not the negative of DATCP's brutal attacks on family farms again.

****,

We are disappointed in the veto by the governor, but we are not going away. Not one single thought that we will give up dairy. Never.

Our amazing heifer run is continuing. Last year: 17 heifers, 8 bulls. Three sets of twins. The end of season 2009  was twin heifers.

THIS season - so far - 7 heifers, 1 bull.

Just as beautiful as can be. All but this last heifer look as Jersey as they get.

Rose - daughter of Kay, my big Brown Swissy looking girl, pride of the herd, our future, "Kay Kay" (my pet name for her)  gives a lot of milk, stays in great flesh, is a great mom, extraordinarily low cell count. Well now her daughter - Rose - the first cow in our dairying life (eh, July 2008) to be bred, born and now come into the milk line herself, the full cycle.

And she is a beauty. "Rosalita" (my pet name for her...) figured out the headgates in 2 days; she has yet to lift a foot to me milking her; that from day 1. She is a doting but not overbearing mother. She has a great low cell count. She was "in the tank" very quickly. She milks out great. Her teats are perfectly placed; her calf suckles all 4 evenly: In other words, she is about as perfect as perfect gets, for me, in a cow.

And she is the first.

Of 21 that represent our first 2 years of heifers born and bred here.

How EXCITING is it to see how all this will turn out - what wonderful cows I - we - will have long and wonderful relationships with.
See why I'm not planning anything else? We love our life with cows.

This morning I took orders from my sons. I'd very much like to get used to that. One son talks about a hunch he has about a cow behavior. It's a sign that he's thinking in nature - and he's thinking - about this farm. At an early age he is developing the innate thinking system - it took me 46 years of life to get to - starting from youth. Imagine the possibilities.

And my other son, reminding me to be sure and fill the water for the hens. In that, he is responsible, and a real owner, a stakeholder, in this farm. How powerful can we be? Team Trautman is pointed at you, look out. Solutions to problems. A better world. Happier people. Probably unhappier big ag and their shills, too. Imagine the possibilities.

All the beautiful passionate people we've met, and have put their energy into our farm. This farm has changed us, as we have changed it. I feel like we are a part of starting a powerful energy - positive energy - generator here - ala Lost - THE Island THE Farm. Ahem, uh, only like the opposite as in no smoke monsters, violence, ehh, etc. and so on and so forth....(brief comic interlude. Cough. Cough. Thank you. Now back to the regularly scheduled...)

Imagine the possibilities - we are.

We have 300 Hazelnut trees in the ground, with another 300 or so to go. Maples planted. Designs on more fruit trees. Every year planting in the hundreds of trees.

Energy independence - solar, wind, organic fuels. Imagine the possibilities - we are.

Imagine the possibilities -So much potential. A Malabar Farm for 2010 - the 21st century.

Or the reality that DATCP tries to exterminate our farm relentlessly. Our meat licenses taken away. Our dairy license refused. And what new harassment one wonders? What will they make up next?

SO MUCH BEAUTY HERE.

SO MUCH UGLY and DESTRUCTIVE, ARROGANT and HATEFUL at DATCP.

Scott Trautman, Despite the very best efforts  of the state of Wisconsin - still proud Wisconsin Dairyman.

 
 

A Dairy Industry that Loathes Itself

I wish you the best!

What a nice thing to say. Hoping, believing, that good things will happen.

That's not what our dairy industry is saying to Wisconsin farmers, is it?

Die.

Give us all your money, then die.

Dairy industry record profits; 2300 dairy farms died just last year. How many thousands more, this year, with dairy prices being so poor still?

Yet - a family dairy farm - generations - over 100 years in many many cases - finally decides it's not worth it anymore, and so ends a legacy, never to to gotten back. Gone forever.

And the dairy industry does what with their record profits? Lobbying, of course! More buyouts, less competitors. Competition is a suckers game - domination is the winning hand.

But along comes a few rebel family farms - that would dare to take the milk they've been drinking themselves at their farm with never a problem for 100 years - and profit themselves from it - NO. DIE says the dairy industry. We want CAFO sized farms to provide cheap milk. We make the money, not you.

Wish you well? No - wish us dead. Do we wish badly on them? Hardly. Yet they KNOW what happens to us - more of what's been happening - and they clearly believe that is OK. In fact, at the January 2010 DATCP board meeting, the Diary Products Association lobbyist put it best: "keep up the raw milk enforcement". They want us dead.

LIES upon LIES upon LIES - how can they make such a hatred of family dairy farms seem like something believable? Why safety! They have to talk so carefully - to have people not understand in just the right way - be kept in fear - but not questioning too much, because it falls apart awful darn quick when you - or the press - or the governor - ask followup questions.

Their main lies - repeated over and over again - maybe that will make it the truth - "the damage to the dairy industry". And by dairy industry they mean them. Not farmers, but them. We can see already how they feel about farmers: they want them dead. Fewer farms, more cows, cheaper milk, no lip from any of you uppity farmers.

So the worst thing happens. People get sick from some idiot that made mistakes and presumably - presumably because that's the way the Health people have made it sound - another lie -

How then does this destroy the dairy industry? Make them explain it to you. Let's see - we would know exactly from which farm the problem came from

...unlike the mass hysteria of we don't know where it comes from when you work with big industry. Could be in any one of thousands of products. But not with raw milk - a set customer list even; something the dairy industry could not do with a problem in its milk.

The problem would be localized, and the dairy industry and DATCP and sanitarians everywhere have done such a darn good job of making sure people understand it's RAW MILK and not the ultra-safe kind they promote, right?

So where is this "wild" raw milk that taints all milk products? It's only in the wild imaginations of the evil that want to crush family dairy farms. Fear. Their only tool. It's not science, it's not logic, it most certainly is not caring for people, or farmers or anyone - but themselves.

Governor Doyle - see through their lies. See through their selfishness. See through the illusion of what the dairy industry tells you it is - listen to the farmers, listen to the people. MORE farms not less, MORE natural high quality foods from Wisconsin BUILDS our reputation. It is our DAIRY INDUSTRY that is putting our dairy reputation in jeopardy, as their policies will surely kill off the remaining family dairy farms in Wisconsin.

We need MORE farms not LESS. Not BIGGER farms but BETTER farms - Sustainable farms - good jobs - not slaves to agribusiness. Wisconsin's power is in its farmers - the skills - the stewardship - of multigenerational family farms - in Wisconsin especially dairy farms.

Governor, if you give us a chance we  will show you. Not a picture of fear, of things people don't want, more dependency, less farmers - but a future with more farms, profitable farms, sustainable farms.

What can the dairy industry promise you? More of the same. Less farms. A future of dependency.

GIVE US LEGAL RAW MILK - SIGN THE BILL GOVERNOR!

Scott Trautman, PROUD Wisconsin Dairyman


 
 
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