At least once each year we specifically discuss the topic of cow comfort. This is one of those issues. Our tradition for the last three years has been to feature cover photos from dairies where our editors have personally observed exceptional cow comfort. Dairies that have been featured in the past include Hoffland Dairy in Clayton, Michigan, and Milk Unlimited Dairy Farms in Atlantic, Iowa.
This issue’s cover is a bit deceptive. Many of you who have ever photographed cows will sympathize with the outcome. Here’s the story from that day.
In each of the pens at Kevin Blood Dairy in State Center, Iowa, I observed nearly full stalls during a visit in 2008. The cows were calmly lying down and chewing their cud.
At the conclusion of my tour with dairy owner Kevin Blood, I returned to several of the pens to photograph what I thought would be a most amazing cover shot – a long row of cows lying down, each with a single pink shot of breeding paint on their rump. I found, however, that the pen that I had intended to photograph was now headed to the parlor.
The next pen of cows I visited was younger and more spooked. They too were all lying comfortably on sand, but upon entering the pen, no matter how slowly I moved, they backed away. Perhaps it was my blue biosecurity boots that made them skittish. Regardless, the best photograph I could get that day is the one on the cover. Blame it on young, skittish cows. Believe me, though, Kevin Blood’s dairy does a good job of cow comfort.
Do you know of a dairy, perhaps your own, that has great cow comfort? Please let me know.
We re-launched our website in February with new features and useful tools for dairy producers. Past articles are now categorized by topic in our Dairy Basics section. This new section lists articles in the following categories: Herd Health, Feed & Nutrition, A.I. & Breeding, New Technology, Management, Calf & Heifer Raising, Cow Comfort and Manure. Our new site automatically serves visitors with a list of related articles within sections of the site. Visitors can also see a list of articles that are most popular with site visitors.
Web Editor Emily Caldwell will be editing and publishing timely news and feature articles in between each print edition of the magazine. Emily is also our director of social media and posts content to our Facebook account – www.facebook.com/progressivedairyman – and Twitter account – @PDmag . Become a fan or follow us to receive updates about new information at progressivedairy.com. Sign up for e-alerts at this shortened URL: http://eepurl.com/c9sK
From the current list of most-read articles, I can tell that the economy and strategies to cope with low milk prices are still very much on everyone’s mind. The search bar at the top-right of our website is a powerful tool to search past articles for profit tips and ideas. PD
- Progressive Dairyman
- Email Walt Cooley