“What’s In Your Milk?’

On the TV, more and more, I see more and more dairy product commercials that say  “no use of artificial growth hormone is used.”  What is artificial growth hormone? Artificial growth hormone is a hormone that is injected into dairy cows, to produce more milk. Well of coarse there is no artificial growth hormones used in milk.  The milk is tested on the farm and when it goes to the milk packaging plant. Milk is tested for any disease and any other abnormalities that may be in the milk.  I can’t speak for all dairy plants, but Prairie Farms has a rule that if something is wrong (disease and other abnormalities) with the milk sent to them, which ever farmer sent in the “bad milk,” has to buy that whole tanker of milk.

If a dairy farmer uses an antibiotic or other medication on an animal, the farmer has the animals best interest at heart. No farmer wants to see an animal suffer nor do they want the disease to infect the entire cow population.  If a farmer suspects that a cow is sick, he calls the vet,  makes sure that (if the cow is part of the milk production,) the milk does not get into the rest of the milk, and separates that cow from the rest of the others. How does a know that a cow is sick? The farmers spend every day with these cows. A farmer knows his cows better than the back of his hand, and each cow has her own personality. A cow having a personality sounds funny I know, but it is true!

Dairy farmers do what they need to do to make sure their milk is the safest for the American people to consume!  So before you start to change which dairy products you and your family use, know that the milk in your grocery stores is the best that it can be!

My name is Liz Stayton and I am a Senior at Western Illinois University. I have lived on a dairy farm with Holstein, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorns, for my entire life, and I would not have changed that for the world. I have learn in the dairy industry that hard work can also be a lot of fun, and teach me valuable life lessons like responsibility, determination, selflessness, and many others,

12036905_10204607384376506_6110836419127043108_n74436_1409343405553_7905948_nSangamon County 4-H show, Junior Building, IL State Fair Ground

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