Wednesday, April 13, 2016

We Ran a Micro-Dairy

Moliere had a character who was surprised to be told he was speaking prose.  I'm surprised to learn I grew up on a micro-dairy.  That's according to a NYTimes piece today.  No specifics on what constitutes a "micro-dairy"; one instance mentioned has 12 cows so I guess we qualify.

The characteristic which we didn't share with the dairies described is: processing.  These dairies do their own processing and then sell into a niche market.

This is all fine, but I wonder what grass the Wisconsin dairyman finds to feed his cows in the winter? Or did the writer just simplify and omit mention of "hay".  These cows are going to be less productive.  Yes, dairy cattle evolved to eat only grass.  But we've bred them to produce milk longer than needed by their calves and much more volume.  To sustain the production they need grain as well as forage.  

So micro-dairies are fine to provide a niche product marketed to gourmet types, those who have the money to spend on refined tastes, but they won't do anything for the environment.

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