Dairy Farming CultureBy Samantha Coleexternal image cheese-wax-controversy.jpg
California may not be the Dairy or Cheese State as Wisconsin is, however it is the number one dairy producer in the country, with a cheese production very closely following Wisconsin. There are dairy farms all over Northern California, especially in the Central Valley where farming is prominent. While you may not think of dairy farming as a huge culture, it has created its own little subculture by forming organizations, printing various publications, and creating fields of medicine based on and around the dairy industry. Many large companies tend to use larger corporate farms for their dairy among other things, many family farms have become more public with their products as much safer and healthier products who also advocate treating their cows and goats well, which includes giving them proper medical care and food.

Campaigns for dairy farming have been created recently in order to promote safe and healthy dairy farming. You may not really think about it, but the "Real California Cheese" commercials actually do have a real organization behind them promoting happy and healthy dairy production. I also am able to provide personal experience working in the field of dairy farming, as my mother was a dairy farmer in Israel when she was in her twenties. She was able to provide me with information on how dairy farming was thirty or so years ago, which shows how much it has changed since then.

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As the daughter of a dairy farmer and an avid lover of cheese (apparently inherited from my Grandmother) I find this research to be extremely interesting. I grew up eating all kinds of cheese, and have continued to learn about it. I never really thought about where my cheese and other dairy products were coming from until recently. Once I looked at this project and needed to pick a culture within the Great Valley to study, I realized that farming, and then dairy farming were of great interest to me.

One may not think of dairy farming to be of big importance, but think about this: do you want your products to be healthy and hormone free? Do you want the cows who produce the milk you drink to be fed hormones so they can produce more and more milk? The family dairy farms that are found in the Great Central Valley treat their cows and goats very well and give them all of the care they require to produce healthy and safe products, as these two things go hand in cream.

There are even organizations that have formed such as The California Milk Advisory Board, Dairy Institute of California, and the Organic Dairy Conference. These organizations along with many others help create and promote legislation to keep family farms and corporate farms safe, promote family farms (examples in the Great Central Valley are Omega Farms in Stockton, Producers Dairy in Fresno, and
Fiscalini Farms in Modesto) and safe farming practices, and create and raise standards for dairy products. Other groups that have formed are veterinary practices surrounding the dairy industry, which makes it so that farms are receiving medical care for their animals that is specified for the field.

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The types of things that family dairy farms have to offer are as such:
  • California cheese, milk, butter, yogurt and ice cream
  • Wide varieties of these above products
  • Healthy and safe products
  • Products from a wide variety of milk producing cows and goats
  • Various publications such as California Dairy Magazine, Dairy Farm Today, and Progressive Dairy
  • Online ordering services for equipment and products
  • Pages upon pages of information down to what types of cheeses to avoid while a woman is pregnant (soft, unpasteurized cheeses if anyone was wondering!)
  • Real insight to details of farming and how it is all done

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Works Cited:
"CaliforniaDairy."CaliforniaDairy.com. N.p., 2008-2010. Web. 12 May 2010. <http://www.californiadairy.com/>.

California Dairy Magazine2010: Print.
Cole, Wendy. Personal INTERVIEW. 11 May 2010.

Real California Milk. N.p., 2010. Web. 12 May 2010. <http://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/rcm>.

"ValleyVets.com."Valley Veterinarians Inc.. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2010. <http://www.valleyvets.com/>.
Web. 12 May 2010. <http://www.wecleanwater.com/assets/images/2007/dairy_cows_in_a_field.jpg>.

Web. 12 May 2010. <http://www.cacheeseandbutter.org/images/RCM_Logo-gold.gif>.

Web. 12 May 2010. <http://preparednesspro.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/cheese-wax-controversy.jpg>.

Web. 12 May 2010. <http://specialnewsonline.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/dairy-products.jpg>.
Web.11 May 2010