{lifestyle} Real California Milk: Modern Day Dairy Farm Tour 2011

The Modern Day Dairy Farm Tour 2011 was hosted by the California Milk Advisory Board, who’s “Happy Cows Come from California” ad campaigns made celebrities out of their talking cow characters.

The tour was staged in Southern California where a group of food writers and bloggers received the chance to see and meet dairy farmers up close. Coming to this tour, I wanted to have an open mind and use it as a time to learn. I am an advocate for sustainable, organic, and non-gmo foods, but also want to support all farmers, organic or not, because I believe most of them are vital to our daily livelihood.

On the first day of the tour, we visited Scott Brother’s Creamery, owned and partially operated by Scott Brother’s Dairy Farm. These days, it’s a rare occasion to see a dairy farm also running the creamery where the milk and other dairy products like sour cream and yogurt are processed.

Scott Brother’s Dairy Farm is a family-owned 900 acre farm, operated by brother’s Bruce and Brad Scott alongside their father. The farm boasts over 1,000 head of cattle as well as being family owned for over 95 years.

During the tour, Brad was very clear to mention the sustainable practices that his farm does. There is a misconception that farms this size do not attempt to be sustainable. Although I have no doubt that there are many who don’t, I was impressed to see how dedicated Scott Brother’s seem to be in practicing sustainability.

According to the Dairy Cares Chairman, William C. Van Dam, California supplies one-fifth of our country’s milk. And a big reason why the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) brought us all in, was to show off that they are arguably the leaders in dairy farm sustainability throughout the country. I am now begging the Midwest Dairy Associationto show off what they’re doing to be sustainable!

Dairy farming practices are in no doubt under the microscope these days, as well as the farming industry as a whole, as more and more news of outbreaks of disease, and loss of human lives because of the industrialization of farming throughout the past decades. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of where their food comes from, how it’s being made and handled, and are trying to navigate their way through the maze by choosing to spend their money on farmers and companies who use “best practices”.

It is wise that farm associations are reaching out directly to the people to raise awareness about modern day farming practices, whether it be organic or conventional. In the mean time, they can help educate as well as dis-spell myths that the public may have about modern day farming.

I also believe that by doing this, farmers, organic or not, who choose the best practices will start to hold others accountable who aren’t. I know that may be much simpler said than done, and the issues run much deeper than it looks on the surface.

I am by no means an expert in farming. However, I am an expert as a leader in my family. And I know that I want to feed my family the best food that I can find with what I can afford. I know that my kids deserve a great and healthy future, and that the food they eat should be fresh and as much as possible free from contaminants.

It’s sad that these days, it’s a little too much to ask without paying a premium for it. But, when consumers and producers come together like this to have a conversation and listen to each other, ask questions without reservation, yet remain respectful as human beings, there is no doubt that solutions can be and will be made.

To learn more about the California Milk Advisory Board visit,

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