CRISPR- Genetically Editing Food, Animals and People-

Below is a fairly in depth article regarding this new technology that the USDA and certainly, the FDA will (and have) done nothing about in the regulatory arena. The USDA recently approved CRISPR edited mushrooms that are genetically altered to reduce browning. They don’t require any special studies or limitations because they are just doing in a few days what, according to other sources, might take a thousand years in nature.

CRISPR Is Going To Revolutionize Our Food System—And Start A New War Over GMOs

The gene-editing tool could create drought-resistant grain or allergy-free peanuts. Will a society on edge about genetically modified food embrace this newest innovation?

Adele Peters 03.15.16 6:00 AM

In five years, there might be a little CRISPR-edited corn in your breakfast cereal or CRISPR-edited wheat in your pasta. CRISPR’d tomatoes and CRISPR’d pork might follow. There’s already a little CRISPR in your yogurt.

It’s not hyperbolic to say that CRISPR-Cas9—new technology that makes it possible to quickly and easily edit DNA—is changing the future of food. The method could eventually be used to tweak almost anything we eat, selecting traits that can make agriculture more environmentally sustainable and productive, or the resulting food healthier.

A Molecular Scalpel

The technology is based on a natural process. Many bacteria have a hidden talent: In order to protect themselves from viruses, they cut the virus’s DNA. First, they save a fragment of an invading virus’s DNA in a pattern known as CRISPR (short for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” which describes how the segment looks). If the virus comes back, the bacteria can recognize and hone in on it. Then it uses an enzyme called Cas9 to make a cut in the DNA, disabling the virus.

A few years ago, researchers figured out how to use the same method to edit any kind of DNA. By using guide RNA—the same type of molecule that bacteria use to find and fight a virus, but that can also easily be made in the lab from DNA in a few steps—scientists realized that they could target any spot in the genome of a plant or animal and make a deletion or paste something else in.

“I think a good analogy is a molecular scalpel,” says Jennifer Doudna, the University of California-Berkeley professor who was first to publish a paper about using CRISPR for gene editing in 2012 (Doudna and her colleagues are currently embroiled in a bitter legal battle with MIT researchers over the patent for the technology). “It’s a way that scientists can make very precise changes in the DNA and cells of organisms—down to the level of a single letter in the DNA code out of 3 billion base pairs in the human genome.”
“If editing a single gene might have taken years with older techniques, now it can happen in a matter of days with a single grad student.”

If editing a single gene might have taken weeks, months, or even years with older techniques, now it can happen in a matter of days with a single grad student. Old techniques—such as using a “gene gun” to shoot DNA into plant cells to make something like the earliest GMO soybeans—took far longer to reach a desired result; researchers would have to grow plants to see which ones happened to end up with the traits they wanted. More recent gene-editing tools, such as TALENs and zinc fingers, made it possible to directly target a particular gene for the first time but are more time-consuming than CRISPR in their design and construction.

CRISPR is comparatively easy, because all it requires is ordering some products that are widely available and synthesizing RNA, a simple process in a lab. “This is what I call the democratization of gene editing,” says Rodolphe Barrangou, one of the first researchers to realize how bacteria were naturally using CRISPR. “There were gene-editing technologies that existed before . . . but it was difficult, it was expensive, it was time-consuming, it wasn’t trivial. What CRISPR really has done is enable that gene-editing revolution that we’re witnessing.”

Since the beginning of last year, researchers have published more than 16,000 studies using CRISPR: editing mouse genes to repair genetic disease, designing better biofuels, figuring out which genes are responsible for certain traits and illnesses, and even—controversially—genetically editing human embryos.

But put the deep moral quandaries about human gene editing aside for a minute. In the world of farming, researchers are using CRISPR to work on some foods that might have been too complicated or expensive to genetically engineer in the past, along with the bigger crops that already have GMO versions.
A New Solution For Our Food Supply

At DuPont, researchers are working on CRISPR/Cas9-edited versions of commodity crops such as corn, soybeans, canola, rice, and wheat, which they expect to have on the market in 5 to 10 years. The plants have new traits like drought resistance and higher yields—both critical features for farmers trying to deal with a changing climate and the fact that the world population is growing faster than our food supply.
“The plants have new traits like drought resistance and higher yields—both critical features for farmers trying to deal with a changing climate.”

“When you think about the fact that your average biotech crop takes 10 to 17 years, that’s a really remarkable speed compared to where the market is today,” says Rachel Haurwitz, cofounder of Berkeley-based Caribou Biosciences, which partnered with DuPont to provide Caribou’s version of CRISPR. “I find that really, really exciting.”

The technique can also be used to remove allergens in peanuts, or make food more nutritious, all while using genes that naturally occur in the plant.

It might also save the modern banana. The Cavendish banana, the only type of banana sold in most grocery stores—because it is grown around the world as a monoculture crop—is on the verge of extinction because of a fungal disease. While some researchers are racing to test less-common varieties of bananas to try to find an alternative, a Korean researcher hopes to use CRISPR to snip out the receptor that the fungus uses, so it would no longer have an effect.

CRISPR may also keep livestock healthier without relying on antibiotics, which are overused in animals and leading to antibiotic resistance that is killing humans. “You can actually harness CRISPR systems as antimicrobials, and they provide a great alternative to classic antibiotics,” says Barrangou. “You can program them to selectively target one or more organisms of interest. Whereas most classical antibiotics are very broad-spectrum—when you consume them they wipe out the good guys and the bad guys indiscriminately—CRISPR is opening new doors for programmable antibiotics whereby you could selectively eradicate a pathogenic species.”

Some researchers are also experimenting with directly editing livestock genes to help protect animals from disease. One pig disease costs farmers $600 million a year; in 2015, researchers created a gene-edited version of pigs that couldn’t catch the illness. Twenty percent of all animals raised for food are lost to disease, which is a massive sustainability problem as well as a cause of animal suffering. Gene editing could potentially help change that in a way that traditional breeding hasn’t been able to.

Other meat might be gene edited to be healthier. The same Korean researchers working on the Cavendish banana have also created a variety of pig that is extra-muscly, so it can produce leaner cuts of pork. “We could do this through breeding,” lead researcher Jin-Soo Kim, of Seoul National University, told Nature. “But then it would take decades.”

CRISPR can also be used in its natural form—and it already is. When Barrangou first began studying CRISPR in bacteria, he realized that it could be harnessed to help prevent food waste in dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. It’s not uncommon in the dairy industry for viruses to attack the cultures that are used for fermentation, and that can lead to the loss of thousands or even millions of gallons of milk in a single instance. By selecting variants of the cultures that naturally get vaccinated against viruses, the industry can prevent that from happening.

“If people eat yogurt and people eat cheese, there’s a 50% chance, give or take, that people have been consuming dairy products that were manufactured using CRISPR-enhanced bacteria,” he says. The industry has used the natural form of CRISPR for more than a decade. It can also be used in other fermentation processes, such as pickling or making kimchi, soy sauce, or wine.

There’s potential for CRISPR to be used much more widely. But it isn’t clear yet if the technology can avoid the Monsanto problem—the public distaste for eating anything genetically edited. Public support for GMO food is still very low, despite the fact that the majority of scientists believe it’s safe. In a 2015 survey, most Americans said that genetically engineered food should be labeled—and that they probably wouldn’t buy it. More than half of those surveyed said they think it’s unsafe.

It’s possible CRISPR-edited food might not be seen the same way. In some cases—when the technology is simply used to delete a gene in a plant, rather than adding in anything from another species—the USDA doesn’t consider CRISPR’d food a GMO. The plant looks genetically identical to something that could have been created through cross-breeding or evolution.

Even adding a gene could sometimes end up being the same as a traditionally bred crop. “I think it’s exciting to think, for example, about some of the gene variants that are known to exist in wild strains of particular crops of interest, and the ability to use CRISPR to insert those naturally occurring wild variants into elite crops in a very rapid way, in a very precise way,” says Haurwitz. “It gets you the same product as if you had spent years and years breeding the wild strain with your commercial strain. At the end of the day, it’s the very same product, but it could get to consumers substantially faster by using CRISPR.”

Cibus, a San Diego-based startup making CRISPR-edited flax, position their products as a non-GMO food. “DNA ‘spelling changes’ occur naturally in all plants and are the basis behind the diversity we see in plants as we walk in our local parks or in the forest,” says Greg Gocal, senior vice president of research and development at Cibus. “During domestication events that selected the world’s crop plants, genetic diversity was lost. Breeders have been working for decades to augment crop diversity using mutation breeding. However, this is random. . . . Non-transgenic breeding, which includes technologies such as precision gene editing, can also restore lost genetic diversity.”

Even in Europe, where regulation has been stricter, there are early indications that CRISPR’d foods may not be regulated. In Sweden, authorities recently said that CRISPR-edited plants (as long as they don’t contain foreign DNA) shouldn’t be defined as GMOs under EU legislation.

EU law says that it must be possible to detect a GMO food—and because CRISPR-edited foods are identical to those that are not GMOs, they can’t be detected. It also says that the changes that occur must not be more “uncertain” than something that could occur with techniques like breeding. “The changes are identical to those that could occur with techniques that are not considered to produce GMOs,” says Stefan Jansson, head of the department of plant physiology at Umeå University.
“”Since most politicians consider it to be political suicide to express their opinions about GMOs, maybe they now dare to stand up.””

While the Swedish ruling could be overturned by the EU Commission, Jansson believes there’s increasing support for biotech food. “It is clear that there are very many, in addition to us in the scientific community, who are deeply concerned that the lack of access to efficient plant breeding is a serious threat to the possibilities to make food production sustainable,” he says. “Since most politicians consider it to be political suicide to express their opinions about GMOs, maybe they now dare to stand up.”

In an analysis of the psychology behind why people dislike GMOs, researchers pointed to transgenesis—the mixing of species—as one problem. People tend to see inserting a fish gene into a tomato as fundamentally unnatural. But if CRISPR is used to insert genes from the same plant (or just to take a gene away), it’s possible that might shift attitudes.

It’s also possible that it won’t. “Given the fact that CRISPR can be viewed as tampering with a organism’s essence, I’m afraid that biotechnologists might face an opposition similar to the GMO case,” says Stefaan Blancke, co-author of the paper on the psychology of GMO opposition.

“There probably are some critics who are going to be more accepting because of CRISPR,” says Paul Thompson, a bioethicist and professor at Michigan State University. “But the vast majority are focused on broader philosophical issues. . . . You’ve got this community of critics who in some respects don’t really care that much about what the details are. There’s been this kind of creation of a lot of—I don’t want to be dismissive, but I’ll use the word mythology—about GMOs. And I’m constantly talking to people that I like and respect in the sustainable agriculture community who are just quite, at least from my perspective, misinformed about what GMOs actually are and what they actually do.”

One of the few scientists to speak out about GMOs argues that CRISPR is fundamentally no different than earlier technology, and that CRISPR-edited foods should be regulated before they go on the market. “Is it more exact than the use of a gene gun, where it’s literally scattershot? Sure,” says Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist at Consumers Union, the organization that publishes Consumer Reports. “It’s more exact, but there can still be off-target effects.”
“”We’ve never been against the use of any technology. We just think that before these technologies come out on the market—whether it’s CRISPR or anything else—there should be required safety assessments.””

Hansen points to the fact that Doudna and other researchers have called for caution in the use of CRISPR in humans—because of potential unknowns—and thinks that the same caution should be applied to food. “We’ve never been against the use of any technology,” he says. “We just think that before these technologies come out on the market—whether it’s CRISPR or anything else—there should be required safety assessments, and those crops should be labeled.”

For now, however, the technology is moving ahead, and most researchers think that’s a good thing. “I think there’s real potential from a technology perspective,” says Haurwitz. “But I think that potential can only be realized if we the industry do a good job of communicating to the rest of the world how beneficial it will be for growers, for consumers . . . for everyone involved in the food value chain.”

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Info on Proposed Additional Beef Check Off for Missouri

If you’ve been raising cattle for any length of time, you know how the Check Off issue is loaded with corruption and seeming misappropriation of funds. Everyone gets to pay the Check Off and very few benefit from the additional collection of funds. Well Missouri wants to add an increased check off tax for just Missouri. Please read the following from Missouri Rural Crisis Center and then download this pdf form and register so your voice is counted in the discussion.
STOP the New Missouri Beef Checkoff Tax
In order to Vote NO on this corporate money grab—
Cattle Producers Must Register before March 4th
Thank you for signing the petition opposing a new state beef checkoff tax. Now is the time to register with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to be eligible to vote—see registration forms enclosed.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture is holding a referendum to add a new beef checkoff tax. If passed, all cattle sold in Missouri will be assessed an additional $1 a head checkoff with the proceeds going to the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC). And, the only way to stop it is for Missouri cattle producers to register to vote before March 4th (registration forms are enclosed). If you have registered by March 4th, the Missouri Department of Agriculture will send you a ballot on April 4th.
We are in a cattle market crisis right now with feeder calves having lost up to 45% of their value between September and December (according to the Livestock Marketing Association) with no foreseeable end in sight. What is the response by the MBIC? They want us to give them $2 million more every year. They want a 200% raise? We should say no to this money grab.
Please fill out the enclosed registration form and reach out to other producers in your area that oppose the checkoff. Note: you will be asked to provide three years of cattle sales on this form—We must not let this rule deter us from registering and voting to stop this checkoff.
According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, anyone who has a shared interest in your cattle sales—including your spouse, son, daughter or business partner—can register to vote in this referendum. Each person can fill out separate registration forms and list the number of cattle sales that represent each person’s share in the business. For example, a husband and wife who marketed 50 head of cattle could each register and report 25 head of cattle marketed.
Here are ways you can register:
 We’ve included registration forms—fill them out and send them to the Missouri Department of Agriculture c/o Missouri Beef Referendum, P.O. Box 630, Jefferson City, MO 65102; or
 Go to agriculture.mo.gov and register online or print a form; or
 Call the Missouri Department of Ag at (573) 751-5633 and ask to have a registration form mailed to you; or
 Pick up a registration form at your county FSA office.
If you need additional registration forms or have any questions:
 Call the Missouri Rural Crisis Center at (573) 449-1336.
 We can email, mail or fax you a registration form(s).
All Registration Forms Must Be Postmarked by March 4th.
Paid for by the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Roger Allison, Executive Director, 1108 Rangeline Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Here are some key facts about why we oppose the state beef checkoff:
 There are no rules that this checkoff slush fund will be used to promote Missouri beef. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association successfully lobbied to remove the “promote Missouri beef” language from the bill. And, our federal checkoff dollars are already being used to promote foreign beef in U.S. markets.
 There is no sunset clause on this beef checkoff. Once these programs are put into place, they are virtually impossible to get rid of. So, as cattle prices continue to decline, producers will still be paying the extra $2 million+ every year.
 The vast majority of current federal checkoff dollars end up in the coffers of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) that consistently supports policies favoring corporate meatpackers (even foreign-owned meatpackers) at the expense of Missouri’s independent cattle producers. The NCBA successfully lobbied to end Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and supports corporate packer ownership of livestock which drives down producer farm-gate prices.
 The Missouri Beef Industry Council ignored its own hand-picked “Missouri Beef Checkoff Taskforce” that voted to request a $.50 per head state checkoff instead of $1 on August 26th. Instead, the MBIC requested $1/head anyway—another clear example of the no accountability attitude of the Missouri Beef Industry Council.
 Supporters claim that there will be some way to get a refund after the fact, so they try to call this a “voluntary” program. In reality, cattle producers are forced to pay into this program by having the money taken out of their cattle sales checks before they even get them. If the fee is not paid when due, a penalty shall apply and the attorney general can sue cattle producers for the collection of checkoff fees and penalties. It doesn’t get any more mandatory than that. A complicated, time-consuming refund process does not eliminate this mandate to pay.
 This new checkoff would mean the state government would be collecting another $2.2 million from Missouri beef producers every year and giving our money to the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC), an unaccountable private entity that says it has “no obligation to disclose documents” about how our money is spent.
 The only way to stop this new checkoff tax is for independent cattle producers to say “NO”, otherwise starting in July, we will be paying over $4 million every year in beef checkoff fees.
Please register to vote today—
your vote could make the difference.

Ft Worth Fining Dairy Outside it’s Jurisdiction $3,000…Enough, Already

There is so much wrong with the story below. However, it is important that people are aware of it, and even more important that you begin to work on things to provide yourself and your family and neighbors with real food.

When any bureaucrat believes that he can insinuate himself between anyone’s mouth and stomach, you have overreach of incredible proportions. This is the FDA Food Code in effect. This is the result of people allowing the government to control areas of their lives that the government has zero business involving itself in. The Food Safety Modernization Act is going to kill those who worked on “exempting” themselves from the regulations by staying small and local. You still have to apply for an exemption, which gives the tyrants the authority to control you.

The answer is that we must not ask permission. We must deal directly with each other and not allow these tyrants entry into the very thing that sustains us. Heck, if the FDA had things their way, we’d all be eating Soylent Green and other dead food and paying the big pharma, big chemical companies for more medications to address our symptoms that then cause more problems requiring more medications to address the symptoms….and voila! Captive supply for death merchants.

I guess you can tell this makes me rather angry. If it doesn’t make you angry, I submit that you are part of the problem.

Currently, after more than a decade of fighting against this exact type of tyranny, I am dedicating myself to doing many of the projects that I have put off trying to defend against the wholesale onslaught against real food by the global govicorp. I must do all I can to feed my family and provide for my neighbors. I encourage everyone else to do the same. Here is the article:

City of Fort Worth Levies $3,000 Fine to Raw Milk Dairy, Located Outside of City Limits

FORT WORTH TX  –  Eldon Hoolely, who runs a small, family operated dairy farm is being summoned to court on Monday after some of their raw milk product was found inside the city limits of Fort Worth.  The City of Fort Worth is now claiming that Rosey Ridge Farms, which is located nearly 40 miles south of city limits has somehow committed $3,000 worth of city ordinance violations.

Elmer DePaula, a health superintendent for the city claims that Rosey Ridge Farms was operating an illegal food establishment within the city limits.  When in actuality, a food cooperative was purchasing the raw milk and transporting the product back to Fort Worth to distribute to it’s members.

Hoolely is licensed to sell his raw dairy products out of Rosey Ridge Farm, and says he’s being targeted as if he was running an establishment in Fort Worth itself.

“I never delivered anything to Fort Worth, when it leaves the farm, it’s bought and paid for, and in the hands of the consumer,” he said.  “We run a very clean, raw milk operation, and people are really wanting to get back to real food again.”

Once the raw milk leaves Hooley’s farm, he has no operational control as to where the product ends up.

From their website: “Rosey Ridge Farm is located 2 ½ miles off I-35W approximately 35 miles south of Fort Worth. We are a fully licensed and inspected Grade A Retail Raw Dairy with a Food Manufacturing Permit for other dairy products, including Raw Aged Cheese from our dairy. All Natural grazing is practiced for our cows and calves. We do not feed any GMO grain and unless we have a dry year with poor quality feed, do not feed any grain. The farm consists of a 35 cow dairy of Jersey and Jersey Brown Swiss cross cows that are well fed and cared for and milked twice a day. Pigs and chickens are fed whey from the cheese and leftover milk by-products. Our chickens are cage free and roam freely over fields after the cows and calves and lay very nutritious eggs. We do not use antibiotics, hormones, or steroids in our dairy. We farm around 250 acres for grazing and hay. Oats and wheat is planted in the fall for winter grazing while native and forage grasses are grazed in warm weather.

 Please come by and see us! Enjoy the country life and be a part of wholesome community building at the farm. Bring your children and let them pet the animals and enjoy a horse ride. If you come in the late afternoon, you can get in on the milking. For groups, please have us schedule an event for you.”

So now their family is in jeopardy of losing  $3,000 of their hard earned income to unjust fines placed upon them. The charges are that they distributed  some “unfit” food, and are operating an illegal food establishment.

Recently the ordinance was updated and passed by the Fort Worth City Council to ensure raw milk was specifically mentioned, “… it is the distribution of raw milk and raw milk products which is prohibited, regardless of retail status.”

Attorney Bryce King and Gary Cox from the Farmer to Consumer Legal Defense Fund  are representing the family against the city backed prosecutor Bill Durkin.

Real Milk Texas have expanded their popularity and are raising awareness about the health benefits and chemical free raw dairy products.

The growing movement of the people to make their own food choices is being stifled by the federal, local and state governments with their concerns about public health.  Mr. Hooley told brettsanders.me that

 “It’s not about acting against the government, it’s about the government overreaching and telling us what foods we can and cannot eat”. He shared this Thomas Jefferson quote with me “If the people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls who live under tyranny”.

Hooley concluded with “Altering nature is not the answer, and that healthy unpasturized milk and farm fresh chemical free foods is the closest thing to nature for our health and well being, and the government needs to keep their hands off our food “.

He and his Family are asking for help by showing up at the courthouse on Monday morning in downtown Fort Worth to support his and other small farms around the country in bringing the ‘farm to table’ concept the forefront.   Here is the link to the event.

 

Missouri Amendment 1- Vote NO!

From Michael Evans: http://www.americasvoicenow.org

 

And…. Why YOU Should Vote NO on Missouri’s Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 – “Right To Farm”

 

On Monday, a meeting was held in a townhall style at the West Plains Civic Center so that folks could better understand the proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 aka “Right To Farm” Bill.  I attended this meeting and so I thought I would provide those who were unable to make it with a report on what transpired.  Feel free to forward to your “Circle of Influence” whether you agree with my observations or not.

 

First, let me state unequivocally that I support the unlimited protection of family farms, farmers and family ranchers.  But I firmly believe this bill will do no such thing.

 

The meeting was sponsored by supporters of the bill.  The people sitting at the ‘speaker’ table were Shawn Rhodes and a legislative employee from the Missouri Legislature.  They opened the meeting with a reading of the proposed constitutional amendment found here:

 

”That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vial sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.”

 

I asked the meeting why we didn’t word the amendment thus…

 

”That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vial sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of FAMILY farmers and FAMILY ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, AND SHALL NOT BE INFRINGEDsubject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.” 

 

This means infringed by anyone, for any reason, whether gov’t, political action committee, animal rights groups, or Missouri’s DNR (Department of Natural Resources).  I was told that language was ‘unacceptable’ to the legislature who couldn’t get it passed because of politics.  Translation? YOUR interests are not THEIR interests. What’s troubling is that this bill is primarily sponsored by Republicans.  (For the record, I and a large group of others spent a lot of time unsuccessfully in conference calls over the past 2 years trying to get them to use the right language because we smelled a rat going in.)

 

The primary argument from the speakers table was that this amendment was to thwart future efforts by HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) to stop the trend of injecting legislative limits on farmers similar to the Prop B ‘puppy mill’ legislation that they got approved in 2010 by appealing to the emotional side of non-farmers and non-ranchers. I would argue that livestock is already protected under state law and nobody, including the deluded HSUS can argue that your goat, cow or pig is a ‘family pet’.

 

I believe the HSUS is intent on damaging farming in Missouri. I also abhor the organization not only because they eat up the vast majority of donations in ‘administrative costs’ including fundraising, but they actively seek to undermine states’ rights, human rights and abuse laws giving corporations rights, and lastly, but most importantly, because they put animals before humans. Charity Navigator warns with their “Donor Advisory” rating, and charity watchdog Humanewatch.org gives them a D grade while others rank them equally dishonest and scurrilous.

 

However, the table argued that HSUS has raised and spent $375,000 to fight against this bill so therefore it was a good bill to vote for.  It did come out of the meeting, by attendees and not supporters) that the side supporting it (Republicans included), have spent over $1,000,000 in support of the bill.  When asked where that money came from, we were told PACs or Political Action Committees which naturally are shielded from having to reveal their donors were responsible. I might have been born at night… but it wasn’t last night!  As if they don’t know or weren’t involved in getting that financial support.

 

Since both sides are funding the passage or non-passage of this bill so heavily, and we all know money in politics points the finger of guilt to the parties that benefit the most, I would posit that both sides are using the ‘boogeyman’ fear factor of the other side to drive their members and/or constituents to vote for an Amendment which is not in the best interests of the actual family farmers and ranchers of Missouri.

 

To be sure, and I said this publicly in the meeting, everyone in the room was there for the right purpose, to protect Missouri’s agricultural heritage and industry and family farmers and ranchers, not corporations, CAFO’s and foreign gov’ts.  However, I believe that the political parties have hijacked this legislation to pass a nefarious and detrimental Constitutional Amendment that cannot later be altered or modified and will be the subject of staggering legal challenges that will leave this amendment in the hands of those who redefine words for a living; namely judges and lawyers, who definitively don’t have the best interests of the farmers and ranchers in question as their motivation. Further the Farmers/Ranchers will have to bear the legal financial burdens of fighting those battles and that’s untenable for the family farm or ranch which is barely subsisting hand to mouth. Fighting legal battles with gov’t agencies, NGO (non-governmental organizations such as HSUS), and being beaten by financial attrition, not by lack of merit, will hurt all of us in the state.

 

There was a constant refrain that, “this is the best we can get”, and “It’s a good start” towards protecting Missouri family farmers and ranchers.  I submit that there are two problems with this thinking.

 

  • First, if the best we can get from a majority legislature is a bill designed to protect Monsanto and leave future ‘interpretation’ to bureaucrats, judges and lawyers who will cost farmers/ranchers the ‘farm’ to fight for their God given rights in the first place, that shows us that neither party truly represents the interests of their ‘alleged’ constituents, and hasn’t for a very long time.
    • Passing such an amendment allows legislators to define under Missouri’s Constitution in Article VI what your rights actually are.  That section of the Constitution is hundreds of pages long and addresses everything under the sun.  In order to ‘loophole’ the new amendment for the benefit of some political supporter or crony (Can YOU say Monsanto?), the legislature can simply modify or redefine whatever they need to in Article VI to give them the dubious “Duly Authorized Power” to hijack your right to make a living while granting themselves even greater powers.
    • Ask yourself if the purpose of a Constitution is to limit gov’t or YOU?  How does giving you rights, subject to their “Duly Authorized Power” act to “bind the gov’t down with the chains of a Constitution” as per Thomas Jefferson?

 

  • Second, this is not “a good start” because you don’t modify the constitution with a law in motion. If we find later that it has poison in it, (and you can bet this was worded VERY carefully by the “elit-i-legalists” in the legislature) it cannot be simply modified.  It would require another Constitutional Amendment vote just to amend the bad amendment.
    • A Constitutional Amendment should be the final limitation of gov’t power, not a ‘starting point’ full of loopholes large enough to push Kansas City through sideways!

 

Finally, the arguments given by those in ‘official’ support was laden with the threats of the dark powers and money of the HSUS and their freedom destroying activities.  Let me be abundantly clear here… I absolutely despise anyone who sells me on waiving my rights based upon fear.  THAT IS terrorism defined, i.e. manipulation of the individuals through fear, intimidation, threat or coercion for a political end.  It makes no difference if it’s done by a guy in a suit or a uniform.

 

Frankly, I fear the Missouri DNR and the state legislature far more than an animal rights activist group who may, or may not, attempt to pass legislation or policy with the aid of the real danger here… our own legislature and the DNR.

 

When I asked why we are compromising ourselves by agreeing to a bad amendment simply because the legislature doesn’t have the brass to really honor who they should represent, (not the corporations or political bribers, …er donors), I was told again that “This is the best we could get” and “This is a good start”.  The simple truth is that our legislature has failed us over and over again. They seek to pass legislation that protects and benefits their donors and frankly that is nothing more than a polite way of saying Bribery.  I’m tired of endless promises of “more hard work to do” and “we’ll build on this” kind of talk. You don’t ‘build’ on a constitutional amendment.  That is where the final product goes, not the half-baked, loophole laden dream of a greedy self-serving political machine.

 

Again, suggested language would have done what the supporters claim this piece of misguided misdirection should actually do…..  Note the differences in RED.

 

”That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vial sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of FAMILY farmers and FAMILY ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, AND SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri.”  This change would have made it bulletproof to voters, and eliminated most of the expensive legal wrangling that we will see for years going forward.

 

We shouldn’t be making constitutional amendments just because our legislature wants to appease their cronies and corporate sponsors.  I was told the language proposed was right but, was ‘unacceptable’ to the legislature and couldn’t get passed.  So, ask yourself the following questions:

 

  • Did the legislature really had YOUR best interest at heart when they wrote it?
  • Should we pass a permanent modification to the Constitution because the legislature (which is supposed to have a ‘conservative’ majority) was more interested in giving you a false choice using fear as a coercion tactic?
  • If the purpose of a constitution is to ‘bind men down from mischief by the chains of a constitution’ (Thomas Jefferson), why is it that YOU are bound by this constitutional amendment?
  • Should we simply rise up, vote NO and then demand that they right the correct language and actually represent us next year in protecting Missouri Family Farmers and Family Ranchers?

 

In case you haven’t gathered already…. For the record, I’m voting NO.  This bill should be better known as the “Missouri Monsanto Protection Act”.

 

 

Michael Evans
Patriot & OathKeeper

 

No More Artisan Cheese for Americans

The FDA, Food Destruction Agency, has “clarified” their stance on cheese aged on wood. Short take, not allowed any longer in the US; and because of the lovely take over of all food granted them by the Corporate Board Members referred to as “Congress” under the Food Safety Modernization Act, no cheese imported to the US will be allowed to have been aged on wood either.

If you have thus far failed to see what is happening in this nation and across the world, I’ll sum it up for you. There will be no innovation and no creativity allowed. Our Heavenly Father’s creative attributes that He instills in us as we are created in His image is to be annihilated by rule, regulation, insurance premiums, or other “safety” measure.

This is an excellent article on the issue of cheese and the FDA. Don’t worry, whatever you desire to create/produce will be similarly regulated and destroyed…if it hasn’t already been regulated to death.

Game Changer: FDA Rules No Wooden Boards in Cheese Aging

A sense of disbelief and distress is quickly rippling through the U.S. artisan cheese community, as the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced it will not permit American cheesemakers to age cheese on wooden boards.

Recently, the FDA inspected several New York state cheesemakers and cited them for using wooden surfaces to age their cheeses. The New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets’ Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services, which (like most every state in the U.S., including Wisconsin), has allowed this practice, reached out to FDA for clarification on the issue. A response was provided by Monica Metz, Branch Chief of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s (CFSAN) Dairy and Egg Branch.

In the response, Metz stated that the use of wood for cheese ripening or aging is considered an unsanitary practice by FDA, and a violation of FDA’s current Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations. Here’s an excerpt:

“Microbial pathogens can be controlled if food facilities engage in good manufacturing practice. Proper cleaning and sanitation of equipment and facilities are absolutely necessary to ensure that pathogens do not find niches to reside and proliferate. Adequate cleaning and sanitation procedures are particularly important in facilities where persistent strains of pathogenic microorganisms like Listeria monocytogenes could be found. The use of wooden shelves, rough or otherwise, for cheese ripening does not conform to cGMP requirements, which require that “all plant equipment and utensils shall be so designed and of such material and workmanship as to be adequately cleanable, and shall be properly maintained.” 21 CFR 110.40(a). Wooden shelves or boards cannot be adequately cleaned and sanitized. The porous structure of wood enables it to absorb and retain bacteria, therefore bacteria generally colonize not only the surface but also the inside layers of wood. The shelves or boards used for aging make direct contact with finished products; hence they could be a potential source of pathogenic microorganisms in the finished products.”

The most interesting part of the FDA’s statement it that it does not consider this to be a new policy, but rather an enforcement of an existing policy. And worse yet, FDA has reiterated that it does not intend to change this policy.

In an email to industry professionals, Rob Ralyea, Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Food Science and the Pilot Plant Manager at Cornell University in New York, says: “According to the FDA this is merely proper enforcement of the policy that was already in place. While the FDA has had jurisdiction in all food plants, it deferred cheese inspections almost exclusively to the states. This has all obviously changed under FSMA.”

Ah, FSMA. For those of you not in the know, the Food Safety Modernization Act is the most sweeping reform of American food safety laws in generations. It was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011 and aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.

While most cheesemakers have, perhaps, begrudgingly accepted most of what has been coming down the FSMA pike, including the requirement of HACCP plans and increased federal regulations and inspections, no one expected this giant regulation behemoth to virtually put a stop to innovation in the American artisanal cheese movement.

Many of the most awarded and well-respected American artisan cheeses are currently aged on wooden boards. American Cheese Society triple Best in Show winner Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Cheese in Wisconsin is cured on wooden boards. Likewise for award-winners Cabot Clothbound in Vermont, current U.S. Champion cheese Marieke Feonegreek, and 2013 Best in Show Runner-Up Bleu Mont Bandaged Cheddar.

Wisconsin cheesemaker Chris Roelli says the FDA’s “clarified” stance on using wooden boards is a “potentially devastating development” for American cheesemakers. He and his family have spent the past eight years re-building Roelli Cheese into a next-generation American artisanal cheese factory. Just last year, he built what most would consider to be a state-of-the-art aging facility into the hillside behind his cheese plant. And Roelli, like hundreds of American artisanal cheesemaekrs, has developed his cheese recipes specifically to be aged on wooden boards.

“The very pillar that we built our niche business on is the ability to age our cheese on wood planks, an art that has been practiced in Europe for thousands of years,” Roelli says. Not allowing American cheesemakers to use this practice puts them “at a global disadvantage because the flavor produced by aging on wood can not be duplicated. This is a major game changer for the dairy industry in Wisconsin, and many other states.”

As if this weren’t all bad enough, the FDA has also “clarified” – I’m really beginning to dislike that word – that in accordance with FSMA, a cheesemaker importing cheese to the United States is subject to the same rules and inspection procedures as American cheesemakers.

Therefore, Cornell University’s Ralyea says, “It stands to reason that if an importer is using wood boards, the FDA would keep these cheeses from reaching our borders until the cheese maker is in compliance. The European Union authorizes and allows the use of wood boards. Further, the great majority of cheeses imported to this country are in fact aged on wooden boards and some are required to be aged on wood by their standard of identity (Comte, Beaufort and Reblochon, to name a few). Therefore, it will be interesting to see how these specific cheeses will be dealt with when it comes to importation into the United States.”

Ralyea continues: “While most everyone agrees that Listeria is a major concern to the dairy industry, it appears that some food safety agencies interpret the science to show that wood boards can be maintained in a sanitary fashion to allow for their use for cheese aging, while others (e.g., the US FDA) believe that a general ban of any wooden materials in food processing facilities is the better approach to assure food safety. At this point, it seems highly unlikely that any new research data or interpretations will change the FDA policies in place.”

In fact, many research papers do in fact conclude that wooden boards are safe. In 2013, the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research published a paper on the subject, concluding: “Considering the beneficial effects of wood boards on cheese ripening and rind formation, the use of wood boards does not seem to present any danger of contamination by pathogenic bacteria as long as a thorough cleaning procedure is followed.” You can read the whole report on pages 8-9 by clicking on this link.

Interesting side note: Health Canada does not currently have any regulations prohibiting aging and ripening cheese on wood, so apparently if we want to eat most American or European artisan cheeses, we’ll need to drive across the border to do so.

So what’s next? The American Cheese Society has mobilized its Regulatory & Academic Committee to learn more about this issue, and to ensure its members’ interests are represented. The ACS promises to keep us apprised of developments. In the meantime, if you are a cheesemaker, and your operation is inspected and cited for the use of wooden surfaces, please contact the ACS office (720-328-2788 or info@cheesesociety.org).

 

Don’t Have A Cow, Man…

A few years back, I went to speak at an event in DC and had the best milk I have ever had in my life. This was milk from the Amish farmer Dan Allgyer that the FDA persecuted beyond reason and ran out of business. At that event, because of his wonderful grass fed Jersey milk, I became obsessed with getting a Jersey cow. I also wanted butter. It’s difficult to get together enough cream from naturally homogenized goat milk to make butter, but I have done it a few times and it did turn out well. However, I wanted butter on a regular basis, and I wanted it to be from a Jersey cow…I got what I wanted!

It’s a Jersey Thing!

 

Oh Boy.

We’ve had cows and we’ve had calves, but we’ve never had a milk cow. Oh my gosh. I would like to see every single Congress critter and elected (or selected) official be required to have a house cow. They should also be required to milk her by hand. Preferably in a cold rain with no roof over them!

We Call her….Smootchie!

This cow is a real sweetheart. She will let you walk up to her and hug her. She’s learned that I am her calf somehow, and I guess that is a positive and negative thing simultaneously. She likes to follow me around and moo at me, and lick me. However, she doesn’t like to hold still the entire time while I try to milk her short teats.

The reason I keep calling her  “She:” is because “She” hadn’t yet told me her name. I thought it was Sadie, Girlie and Celie….but when “She” decided she didn’t want to stand still any more, regardless of the fact that “She” was not yet milked out, “She” didn’t listen to ANY name. Not even expletives. We finally did figure out her name. It may seem silly to some, but “She” comes to it. Her name is Smootchie.

Why, you ask? I don’t know how many of you have ever been licked by a cow, but this cow loves to lick you when she is done being milked. Cow tongues actually feel like gigantic cat tongues. They are much rougher than one might think if they like lengua tacos and such. Smoochie will actually lick you in the mouth if you make the mistake of laughing at her while standing too close to her sticking out her tongue trying to get a lick in on you. She almost got me once, so I learned my lesson. Maybe it’s part of the transference of “my calf” to the human doing the milking. I’m not sure what a bovine psychologist might label it, but it is amusing!

I digress. The issues I really want to relate have to do with ideology versus reality on the homestead. Also, with massive amounts of commitments, stress, and the fact that I have solidly determined that grey hair is hereditary. You get it from your aging parents! Not to minimize the effect that young adults have on the development of grey, but no one ever talks about how aging parents cause grey. That’s likely a story for another a day, but it certainly did affect our cow adventures.

Getting Her Home

The first problem we encountered was the bumping up of the date we were to get the cow. We thought we’d be getting this cow 2 weeks later than she showed. So I thought I would have more time to figure out all the little ins and outs of managing the cow and keeping her safe and happy, and making sure I had a working milking machine in case hand milking didn’t work as I intended. With the desired more leisurely approach to bringing in the cow out the window, I went in to triage mode. This is terrifically necessary skill if one is to deal with livestock. They never read the books and always find a way of throwing things at you that aren’t covered in books. Sometimes they will throw things at you that aren’t even covered by experience.

But first you actually have to get the critter home to find out what kind of fun and interesting experiences they have in store for you.

The morning came to bring her home and we hooked up the stock trailer and began the short drive to get her. About half way there, my husband said, “This transmission is NOT shifting!” We stopped and checked the fluid and there was no problem with it. By the time we got to the farm to get the cow, the truck wouldn’t shift out of first gear. Nonetheless, we were committed, or possibly should be committed, and we loaded the cow and slowly made our way home. We did make it, and after we unhooked the trailer and parked the truck, it wouldn’t move anymore at all. It’s still sitting there. This is after we just replaced the transmission last fall! Yipee, and yeah for old Chevy transmissions, right?  What’s another $800 in the scheme of things?

So, Cleo, the ancient Chevy, finished the task of getting Smoochie home and then we got to have some more fun!

First of all, I thought we could house her in our buck pen for a week or two while her compass reset worked it’s magic. There  was about 1/4 acre fenced in with four foot high field topped with two strands of barb for the most part, and cattle panel 52″ high for the rest of it.  So a 52″ high fence all the way around, with some of it very sharp.  We still had hay, so I figured feeding her hay after she annihilated the grass would be just fine and it would give me the two weeks I needed to get the kinks worked out fitting a milk cow into our home routine. Ha!

We had her in the buck pen, and she seemed as content as a cow that just was pulled from it’s herd might be. She wasn’t lowing too much and was on a bit of high alert, but didn’t appear too worried. Some friends came over in the afternoon and we went out and introduced them to Smoochie and they petted her and were duly impressed and wanted to make sure we knew they wanted milk from her. This was about 3pm and it was rainy and cold on that fateful day. We went inside and visited for awhile and then 5pm came and it was time to milk the cow and do all the other normal chores around here.

Time to Milk the Cow

I got my stuff together and went to the buck pen. There was no cow. She’d jumped the fence and was nowhere to be seen!   As I said, it was rainy and cold that day, assuring a pleasant experience. I began walking all over the 30 acres looking for the cow. I found three good tracks and it indicated she was headed to the pond, and I found where she’d gone over the fence. She wasn’t in or around the pond. “She” was MIA.

I looked for almost 2 1/2 hours. My husband drove all over the roads near us while I tramped through the woods and we both found nothing.We now were the proud owners of a high dollar invisible cow!

Finally, I asked the horses to help me…as I was airing up the flat tire on my other car so I could drive around the gravel roads and look for hoof prints, they went to full attention  pointing their ears in the same direction in that alert pose horses have when they aren’t sure what they are looking at. There she was, still on our property.

We got a lead and went out to bring this cow that had never been led by a rope in her life. Long story short, we got ‘er done, but she had to be gently and slowly driven with a lead on her. Thankfully I’d put a halter on her when she was still in the livestock trailer.

After all this, I was ready to milk her by hand. Another “HA!” moment! She stood just fine, but being a first freshener, she has really ridiculously short, teeny, tiny teats. And she wasn’t happy about standing still to be milked out without other cows pressing her into a comfortable position either. We put a rope around her in front of her udder and pressed her to the shed wall and I began to milk her with my index finger and thumb. After 45 minutes, Smootchie and I had both had quite enough. She wasn’t yet fully milked out and her foot in the bucket assured a feast for the dogs and cats.

I decided that I had to get the old Surge milker checked out in the morning because there was going to be a wholesale revolt from my cramping hands if I had to keep milking her by hand.

Several years back, we were setting up to be a full on goat dairy and thinking we’d be milking fifty or so does twice a day.We’d purchased equipment and even stock for the dairy venture, but that deal fell through and we’d cut down our goat herd to simply meet our own needs for milk. The ancient Surge vacuum pump was just sitting there waiting for a rainy day or arthritis to set in. From time to time, I would start it up to make sure it wasn’t frozen and let it run a little bit just for fun. I didn’t think I would need it to just milk one very kissy little cow. But I desperately needed it!

So first thing the next morning I milked her as much as we could both tolerate and went to get the Surge pump and bucket milker checked out. The pump started right up. But there was at least one problem. I couldn’t get any vacuum from it. The motor ran, but the vacuum wouldn’t vacuum. This left me unable to check my bucket milker out and see if the pulsator  would work.

 Triage, Again!

My husband got the name of the local man that services the commercial dairies in the area and we put in a call to him. Late that night he returned our call and we discussed the problem and he thought he had a pump in his shop that would work for us and would come out in the morning to install it if it checked out.

The next day he called and told us the vacuum pump he had wouldn’t work, so he couldn’t help us. The problem with the one we had in our barn that didn’t work would require a full rebuild and be both time consuming and costly.

So we began day three of the cow that wouldn’t stay in the pen and the very tired cow-mum who was getting way more exercise than anticipated walking all over our land to find the cow and bring her back to the shed to be painstakingly milked twice a day. To Smootchie’s credit, she was learning how to lead very well. She also hadn’t kicked me at all, and that is something one would expect from a terrifically prolonged milking session on a cow that was used to small commercial dairy set up.

Finally, my brain kicked in, and I decided to put Smootchie in our large round pen with 5 foot high panels that she would have a really hard time climbing or jumping over.  Hallelujah, it worked and I cut down on my woods tramping and was able to focus on the vacuum pump problem.

I thought I recalled something about someone using an air compressor as a vacuum pump at some point in my homesteading past. Thankfully, my husband had been in construction for a long time and we had a little air compressor on wheels that I thought might just do the trick. I sent him a text explaining what I wanted to do with his air compressor and he was all for it. After I built a head gate and modified a cattle panel into a swinging squeeze gate so I wouldn’t have to tie Smootchie to the wall, I began to get the regulator, gauge and fittings together to move to the new cow shed, and when he got home from work, we set it up and it worked!

Well, kind of, anyway. The pulsator, as I had feared, needed to have new gaskets. It would slowly begin to pulsate, then it would go crazy fast, then slow down to almost non existent pulsation, then rev up to 300 beats per minute again.

Complications

All of this was further complicated by the fact that I needed to go with my parents to the VA hospital for a few nights while my father, who is not in good health due to diabetes and asbestosis from the US Navy,  had a hip replacement done. Yes, the VA…and it’s three hours away.

This is one of the reasons why we were supposed to get Smootchie two weeks later than we got her. I was hoping that after the surgery and getting him into an ortho rehab center, I would then be able to focus on the things we might need for a cow. But life has a way of changing one’s plans, and it was “get the cow now or lose the chance”, so we got the cow now.

My husband, who is a wonderful, highly supportive and talented man, has milked our goats possibly five or 6 times in over 10 years. He was going to have to milk both the goats and the cow before and after work while I was gone with my parents at the VA. If we didn’t get the milking machine going, there was going to trouble…

And this is why having a helpful dairy supply company is important. On the way to the VA, I ordered a rebuild kit from Hamby Dairy Supply and they got it in overnight mail that day. That evening and the next morning my husband, bless him deeply, muddled through with the bi-polar pulsator and milked the cow and the goats as well as he could. The next night he rebuilt the pulsator when he got home and then milking the cow was not nearly so difficult!

Now that we could finally milk Smootchie out well, we were faced with another problem. Due to not being totally milked out, she’d developed very mild mastitis in one quarter. We just fed that to the dogs and cats until it cleared up. I gave her kelp and rubbed a mentholatum, peppermint oil and tea tree oil balm on that quarter for a week or so. I also gave her a few shots of B complex and a BoSe shot. She overcame that problem without complications. But we were suddenly completely overwhelmed with milk!  She’d also eaten all the grass in the round pen, and we needed to be sure we could keep her on the property as there a lot of beef cattle around us, and if she got out, it was going to be a major rodeo to get her back home…especially if there was a bull interested in her.

The Honor System

She is now fenced in with an electric fence that she, and the goats, respect. She has about 2 acres to work on, and it is evident that she will need more than that in dryer weather. As anyone with livestock knows, fences are really more of an honor system thing than an actual impediment to a large animal that wants to be somewhere else. She’d already taught us that fences were just a small obstacle for her to overcome, and not something she was inclined to respect. So we set up the electric fence hoping it would keep her where she was supposed to be. My husband sat to watch her and make sure she didn’t take off through the fence like some critters do when they get shocked. When she approached a bag, he said, “Don’t do that, girl.”  She got zapped on the ears several times and jumped back and not into the fence. Then she lived up to her name and slowly reached out with her tongue to a plastic bag… and licked the fence! She jumped back like she’d been hit with a Jurassic Park level fence. Smootchie decided the safe distance from plastic bags was about four feet. So now we can keep her on the property with judiciously placed plastic bags.

Swimming in Milk

When we got Smootchie, we had no idea how much milk she was giving. I should really say producing. Dairy animals make you pay for the milk one way or another, so they don’t generally “give” it away. I figured that due to the fact that I wanted to completely grass feed her, she would cut down on production. Again, this is where ideology and reality come into conflict. In order for her to be happy about standing in the stanchion to be milked, I had to employ the UN method of using food as a weapon. Bottom line, she is almost entirely grass fed, but she gets a tic more than a coffee can of grain at each milking. And what level of milk is she producing on that scant amount of grain? Four to five gallons per day. Mind you, this is a first freshening Jersey of heritage size. That means she is just above miniature Jersey size. She’s about 45″ at the hip, so she is NOT a big cow.

What does one do with four to five gallons of milk a day?

Part of the Solution!

The dogs are getting fat. I began to make the butter I so coveted on a daily basis. Then cheese two or three times per week. Cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, farmer’s cheese, feta cheese, queso blanco…no cheddar yet as I have to figure out the aging process for that and frankly, I don’t have the time right now!  And let me tell you, the 30 minute Mozzarella recipe does NOT take 30 minutes. I logged 5-6 hours of cheesemaking two to three times a week on the 30 minute recipe. We’re also supplying five households with milk, and there is still too much milk! So we had to get a calf.

Actually, we ended up with a sweet deal on that and got two calves, and that is helpful, but we should probably have three calves for all the extra milk we still have. In all sincerity, I have seriously considered taking a few milk baths. While I haven’t done it yet, it is not off the table. Anyone have a good recipe for a milk bath?

Bottom line is this, I love this cow, and I am truly very happy to have her, but goats really are a lot easier.The milking, the fencing, the filtering and bottling, that’s all cake; but the processing of the milk actually takes much longer than all the rest. And unless you have lots of people lined up for milk that understand how to wash out milk jugs when they’re done with them, or a huge family that will drink four gallons of milk a day…don’t have a cow, man.

****Footnote and response to inquiries: Instead of getting one cow for one small family, support someone who DOES have a cow and get the true benefits without the amazing amounts of time. Or just learn from our experience and get some calves right away…And NO, my cow is not, nor will she be, up for sale. She’s staying, and I am adjusting, and I truly do love Smootchie. 

 

 

 

Regulating Cow Farts- Methane Madness of the EPA

Years ago, the UN was funding studies with cattle wearing back packs that measured their flatulence to determine the amount of methane being pumped into the air by cattle. The idea was that cattle farts were creating global warming to some extent. Well, now the EPA is setting the stage to reduce methane emissions by cattle in the dairy sector in the US by 25%. Never mind that our overall cattle levels are at 1951 levels. Never mind that the number of dairy farms fell by 52,000 from 1997 to 2007. Evidently we need more destruction of those who would actually try to feed us good quality food that isn’t factory produced. Smaller diversified farming is better for the land, farmers, consumers and the economy. It’s also better for food security, distribution and civilization overall…But those who want us off the land and easily controlled want to regulate cow flatulence. Grr.


White House looks to regulate cow flatulence as part of climate agenda

As part of its plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Obama administration is targeting the dairy industry to reduce methane emissions in their operations.

This comes despite falling methane emission levels across the economy since 1990.

The White House has proposed cutting methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25 percent by 2020. Although U.S. agriculture only accounts for about 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it makes up a sizeable portion of methane emissions — which is a very potent greenhouse gas.

Some of these methane emissions come from cow flatulence, exhaling and belching — other livestock animals release methane as well.

“Cows emit a massive amount of methane through belching, with a lesser amount through flatulence,” according to How Stuff Works. “Statistics vary regarding how much methane the average dairy cow expels. Some experts say 100 liters to 200 liters a day… while others say it’s up to 500 liters… a day. In any case, that’s a lot of methane, an amount comparable to the pollution produced by a car in a day.”

“Of all domestic animal types, beef and dairy cattle were by far the largest emitters of [methane],” according to an EPA analysis charting greenhouse gas emissions in 2012. Cows and other animals produce methane through digestion, which ferments the food of animals.

“During digestion, microbes resident in an animal’s digestive system ferment food consumed by the animal,” the EPA notes. “This microbial fermentation process, referred to as enteric fermentation, produces [methane] as a byproduct, which can be exhaled or eructated by the animal.”

It’s not just the dairy industry that the Obama administration is clamping down on. The White House is looking to regulate methane emissions across the economy from agriculture to oil and gas operations — all this despite methane emissions falling 11 percent since 1990.

 

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/28/white-house-looks-to-regulate-cow-flatulence-as-part-of-climate-agenda/#ixzz2xYjr5aR7

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