It's National Dairy Month

by Jennifer Smith June 16, 2017

Agriculture is a huge part of Canadians lives; and dairy farming is one of the top commodities in most provinces. Most of the dairy farms are in Ontario. In 2016 alone, across Canada, there were a total of 959,600 dairy cows on 11,683 farms producing delicious organic milk for families to enjoy across the country. That's roughly 82 cows per farm that produce about 85 hl of milk per cow.  As June is National Dairy Month, DeerbustersCanada wants to take a moment to acknowledge the hard work of a dairy farmer.

Let's face it: we aren't educated enough about what dairy farmers do. I mean, they just squeeze cow utters all day, right? Wrong. Being a dairy farmer is hard work; they work at least 10 hour days to give families the best tasting milk for cereal, for baking, and let's not forget chocolate milk! On that subject, did you know that nearly 10 percent of Americans actually think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows?

We need to educate ourselves and our children about where our food comes from. We need to learn more about our agricultural producers, our farmers, and about supply management.

 Many farmers in Canada are choosing to become dairy farmers for the following reasons:

    • They are their own boss;
    • They set their own hours and how to manage time;
    • They learn about animal wellness and husbandry;
    • They learn how to multi-task.

      Like any entrepreneur, dairy farmers need to make sure their farm costs can handle their personal costs.

      “One guy once told me that your range should always be the price of a Corvette, which usually runs in the $50,000 to $60,000 range, which is where we try to find ourselves to cover the food on our table and the roof on our heads,” said Andrew Campbell, a partner at Bellson Farms in Strathroy, Ont., west of London. “If you need a little bit more, you might be able to find it, but then you’re not going to have that money to reinvest in newer equipment.”

      If this sounds like you, then you are ready to start your own dairy farm. Here's how:

      1. First decide if your dairy farm will be organic or not.
      2. You will need a farm with an enclosed area, as they weather in Canada can dip into the negative numbers in the wintertime. An industrial generator is a good item to buy, too.
      3. You will need to come up with a feeding system to determine when to lactate cows.
      4. Figure out a waste management plant. Cows produce a lot of manure...

      This Dairy Month, pay tribute to our dairy farmers of Canada and of course, to their livestock friends.

      Follow the conversation on @DeerbustersCanada Twitter at hashtag #DairyMonth.

      Jennifer Smith
      Jennifer Smith