Student aims to build up the dairy industry

Gabrianna Gardner, Missouri Junior Holstein Association President, with 'Sprinkles' at the 2013 Missour State FairA college student who raises dairy cows in a milk deficit state is making plans now for a dairy of her own.  We caught up with Missouri Junior Holstein Association president Gabrianna Gardner of Billings, Missouri as she was selling tickets for the group’s cow raffle at the Missouri State Fair last week.  She was also getting ready to show her two Jerseys and a Milking Shorthorn the next day. Gabrianna, a member of both 4-H and FFA, sees the decline of Missouri dairies first hand.

She tells Brownfield Ag News, “This show, it used to – they’re trying to push out of these barns because there’s not as many (dairy cattle). And, like, the Springfield (Missouri) fair, we just went there two weeks ago and 60 head was all that was there of dairy. It’s kind of sad that they’re going out of business, so they’re not there anymore.” 

But Gabrianna aims to change that, “Honestly, I want a HUGE dairy. I mean, I want 20 on each side, if not bigger. I want a big grazing dairy!”  She’s also deciding between med school and vet school.

Interview with Gabrianna Gardner (3:00 mp3)


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  • Adult humans do not need cow’s milk any more than they need goat’s milk, wolf’s milk, camel’s milk, giraffe’s milk. Unweaned infants do remarkably better on their own mother’s breast milk which is what our species was intended to consume. There’s absolutely nothing beneficial to the human diet in cow’s milk that can’t be gotten through plant based sources.

    Female cows are forcibly artificially inseminated to become pregnant and continue lactating. After 9 months, the dairy industry steals these baby calves shortly after they are born. The “worthless” males who can’t make milk are either killed immediately or kept in isolation for a few months to become veal. The unfortunate females calves follow their mother’s sad lot all the way to the last moments on the kill floor when they are no longer “productive”.

    Thankfully there’s abundant plant based alternatives that are just as nutritional, just as satisfying and just as versatile in cooking. Some even have twice the amount of calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk does.

    Dairy is also destructive to the environment and a tragic waste of resources. Perhaps it is time for “unweaned” adults to look beyond what deceptiveness and hype the dairy industry is pitching at you in order to keep their profits and their cruel practices in check.

  • Bea,

    I’m so sorry you see it and feel that way about the dairy industry. I promise that many farms and farmers love their cattle as much as family. Please take the time to visit a farm near you so they may teach you the inner working. I respect your opinion however please take the time to get educated. I love the cattle on our farm. Everyone has a name and a personality.

    I know that some factory farms may give off a bad view. But not every farm is the way you explained. Our cows are our lives, our pets, or food, our way to pay bills. They sustain us

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