The Norman Transcript

Opinion

July 12, 2012

Dairy farms wage cost vs. value battle

NORMAN — Let’s talk milk. Before we pull up our milking stools and get down to business, I need to admit some biases.

First, I like milk. I like the taste of it and I like to cook with it. There are some recipes that allow for substitutes, but my default position is, use the real thing.

Next, though I’m not a chemist or nutritionist, I have a belief, based on a lifetime of experience and probably some out-of-date science news, that milk is good for us. It builds strong bones and a glass of cold milk at bedtime will help you sleep.

Finally, milk played an important role in my personal history. When I was a boy, my father supported our family by delivering milk for a couple of local, family-owned dairies — neither of which survived the growth of large corporate dairy operations.

One of my first paid jobs was as an assistant on a home milk delivery route. My grandfather, who scratched a precarious living out of a dusty, western Oklahoma cotton farm, taught me to milk a cow when I was 5 years old.

I was (and still am) amazed that we could pull such a rich delicious food product from such a large animal that seemed so patient and willing to share with us.

So, I admit whenever milk appears in the news, my eye automatically drifts that way and I always attach more importance to the story than it may warrant.

Milk is in the news recently because family dairy farms in New England (and probably around the country) are on the verge of extinction. Their survival will depend on the willingness of consumers to pay more for dairy products in order to preserve these family farms. If consumers won’t (or can’t) come to the rescue, these family businesses will go the way of the blacksmiths.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014