Monday, October 15, 2007

"Organic" Dairies

Interesting piece here--excerpt:

Watts Brothers, which started milking cows in December, is Washington's largest organic dairy with 2,200 milking cows.

State regulators and some small dairy farmers speak highly of it, but critics question whether milking thousands of cows is worthy of the term "organic."

In part, this is a lesson to those leftie liberals, who want to write laws to solve problems. You write a law setting up standards for things like "organic" and you have certain pictures in your head. (See Walter Lippmann's Public Opinion). And you write the law based on those pictures. But the reality is that smart and determined people want to make a buck, so your law tends to be evaded, at least in part. Far from the picture in textbooks, administering law is like a long conversation, back and forth, between two people, who might stay married for 50 years, or might get divorced in 6 months.

I was also tickled by this quote:
"People want to picture cute 50-cow dairies all over the countryside, but our economics don't allow for that everywhere anymore," said Georgana Webster, an organic-livestock inspector for the Washington Department of Agriculture, which determines whether dairies like Watts Brothers are following national organic standards.
Having been brought up on a very uncute, mini-dairy of 12 cows.

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