Stuff I read about this week that you should care about – 5/19/2017
“Sonny, he’s just like you and me.” – Farmers throughout the U.S.
Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (previously Governor of Georgia) has made a pretty big splash since President Trump put him in charge of U.S. agriculture. However, it’s not just what he’s been doing that turns people on – it’s who he was coming into this position. Secretary Perdue grew up working on a farm, graduated from the University of Georgia with a doctorate in veterinary medicine, served in the Air Force and ran his own small agribusiness. Many in the agricultural industry hope that this background will make him a leader who’s “walked a mile in our shoes.”
“Responsibly Produced, Locally Driven and Nutrient Rich” – Undeniably Dairy
Undeniably Dairy is a new dairy promotion campaign that is being launched by Dairy Management Inc. (This organization is also broken down regionally, this is mine). The dairy industry is always looking for new ways to connect with consumers and show them “Hey, this is where your food comes from!” The latest efforts through Undeniably Dairy will include a June Dairy month-inspired marketing campaign on the Food Network and Cooking Channel, videos highlighting campaign themes, and articles and other content promoting dairy products and the farms that produce the milk. You can learn where your food comes from while sipping on an ice-cold glass of chocolate milk here.
“It ain’t easy, bein cheesy.” – Wisconsin
I lived in Wisconsin for a summer, and what they say is true… there are more bars than churches. But even better than that, they’re not slacking on cheese production. And while happy cows come from California, Wisconsin passed them (by 1 billion pounds… roughly the amount of grilled cheese I consumed in 2016) in cheese production in 2016. Altogether, Wisconsin ended 2016 producing around 3.24 billion lbs. (27% of U.S. production). Twenty-four percent of that was specialty cheese – the kind that people order on a plate with meat to feel high-class. Whether you’re a fancy cheese plate or an “I eat cheddar straight from the block” kinda person, Wisconsin sounds like a state for you.
Cows: just like your kids, but cuter.
You know how kids like to pick through their food and only eat what they want? Cows will sometimes do the same. In cow world, it’s called “sorting.” But, instead of throwing the broccoli at you, they shift their around with their nose to find what they want. To prevent this, cow nutritionists (a real thing) help farmers create what’s called a “TMR” or “Total Mixed Ration.” This is developed with specific ingredients and is mixed carefully to prevent sorting and to make sure cows get the nutrients their body needs. Industry experts conduct research to make sure we’re doing it right – just another day in pampering our bovines.
Picture of the week.