The problem with U.S. agriculture is that it is monoculture and controlled by big agribusiness -- at least that was the claim of In the Defense of Food author Michael Pollan when Feedstuffs recently talked with him on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
Pollan and 500-plus observers who gathered for a panel discussion of U.S. agriculture and the food production system, however, heard a much different story when dairy producer John Vrieze of Baldwin, Wis., took the microphone for a brief description of his operation.
Calling himself the "big, bad, monocultural cow farmer," Vrieze quickly proved otherwise as he set out correcting misinformation about agriculture and dairy farming. On his farm, Vrieze continuously looks for ways to improve the dairy products he produces, as well as how to be more energy self-sufficient and sustainable.
Vrieze's family has been farming more than 100 years. Vrieze said his grandfather started with 13 dairy cows, and his dad started with 28 cows. Now, the farm has 2,500 cows.
Unlike some of the information people "might have on how we farm," Vrieze told the group that today's dairy farmers use a lot less antibiotics on cows than they use to. At the same time, he stressed that it is critical for producers to have antibiotics available for use when needed.
To read the entire article, link to Feedstuffs.