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The “Antibiotics” Question

Katherine with calf

I’m sure every child dreams of having a baby cow as a pet. No? Well let me tell you, they’re pretty awesome! Erica 11We took care of these calves as if they were children, like our babies. We taught them how to suck from a bottle, transitioned them to grain (under the watchful eye of our dad of course!), cleaned up after them, and chased them around when they got loose (I’m sure those instances were our fault). We let them suck on our hands (you think a human baby is a drool bucket, you should see a calf!) and if we weren’t careful, step on our toes. You can imagine how devastated we would be if one of our beloved baby cows got sick. However, we were in luck! Because just like our mom would give us medicine when we were sick, our dad had medicine to make the cows feel better!

katherine

This is my little sister Katherine allowing not just one, but two calves use her hands as pacifiers! Not quite sure how she feels about it though…

Working in the store I get asked about antibiotics pretty often. Do we use antibiotics? Yes we do. However, it is a common misconception that milk coming from dairy farms contains antibiotics. I understand where this thought could come from, but it is simply not true. Our milk is strictly regulated at every step. From the farm to the processing plant and beyond, the dairy industry is committed to ensuring top quality and safety for those consuming our products.

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While our cows rarely get sick due to their excellent care, when they do, antibiotics are a last resort in the healing process. We do not give antibiotics to animals who are not sick. Not much sense to that is there? If a cow is not feeling well, she is kept in a different facility so we can easily keep an eye on her while ensuring she doesn’t share whatever she has with her friends. My dad and his employees use a 10 point checklist to diagnose if she can be treated in house, or if we should call our veterinarian. If we do use antibiotics to treat a cow, her milk is kept separate and disposed of until everything is completely out of her system. In short, while we do use them to heal our animals if need be, our cheeses, yogurt, and ice creams are all antibiotic free!

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Let me assure you, we have the utmost respect for our animals. They take good care of us! So we take good care of them.

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