I recently saw this article posted by Art Einsky called "Why Cow Nappies, Udder Nonsense". I thought it was just another silly post, but when I started reading - I thought... this is ridiculous.
So the short and long of it is... the European Union Environmental Laws has determined that cow poo; is too toxic to let it fall on the ground anymore and has set forth laws, yes laws -that require farmers to place "nappies" on their cows, while grazing them out in the fields. Apparently the law indicates this only has to be done if you are grazing cows on slopes with a 15% gradient or more. But in the Alpine farm region... this is a bit of a people. It's the mountains!
Johann Huber's family has owned their farm on the slopes of Gmund am Tergernese for over 400 years. Their cows have always happily fertilized their slopes. But with this new enactment Huber started placing his own homemade "nappies" on his cows to be on the side of caution.
What do you think of this udder nonsense? Share your two cents in the comments below..
Strolling Of The Heifers
In what is know, known as a town charished tradition. Last weekend; some 100 heifers, colorfully decorated with spring flowers strolled down main street in Brattleboro, VT. About 50,000 people (which) is half of Vermonts population, assembled 3 rows deep to show their support and appreciate for it's local farmers.
Where It All Began..
This age old tradition was first started in 2002 where it took it's inspiration from Spain's "Running of the Bull". Vermonters where lamenting over the growing loss of dairy farmers. It was establish to bring attention to farming’s importance to the community’s health, heritage, and economy.
“Without farms, we don’t eat,” says Orly Munzing, the parade’s founder and executive director, adding that “when food became a commodity, people lost touch with where their food came from, even here, where a farm is a stone’s throw away.”
Change, Not Always what We Hope For..
Understandably we expect some change over the years. In the 1940's Vermont proudly boasted over 11,000 dairy farms, you will be shocked to know that number is down to a whoppen 1,000 today. Sadly "Rob Family Farm" who led out this years parade takes that number down by one more. After being in production for 104 years Helen Rob says;
"Shutting down was a hard decision, but the economics of running a small dairy (50 to 55 cows) no longer made sense as the price for milk barely keeps pace with increasing feed, seed, diesel, and fertilizer costs."
On a positive note...
There is a rise in demand for small niche farms, particularly artisan cheese markers. And if only for a day the uncertain future of Vermont farms floats away in the shouts of this happy parade.