Top animal welfare expert praises animal care, impressed with newest lameness research
“I saw dairy cows who have a wonderful life today.”
That’s what Dr. Temple Grandin told an audience of over 700 people during her lecture on autism at Marian University last Friday night in Fond du Lac, Wis. The dairy cows she saw were those at Vir-Clar Farm, which Temple and I toured together on Friday morning.
The farm tour was a result of the interview I did with Temple two weeks ago. Temple said she was very interested in visiting a dairy farm while she was in Fond du Lac. I asked Katie Grinstead at Vir-Clar Farm if we could visit the dairy farm she owns with her parents (Gary and Rose Boyke) and brother (JR Boyke); she agreed that it would be a great opportunity.
My hope was that the visit would allow us to continue our conversation about dairy cow wellbeing. I also wanted to demonstrate that dairy farmers today are managing cows for higher production – and enabling them to reach their full potential – not "pushing" them beyond what is biologically possible.
Katie led the tour, with Gary and JR joining us at the beginning. I also invited Nigel Cook, a professor of food animal production medicine at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, to be part of the visit. Nigel has done extensive research in the areas of dairy cow comfort and lameness and does a lot of work with facility design on dairy farms.
[Read the rest of this post in the HD Notebook at Hoard's Dairyman.]