What every successful farmer needs to know… he will learn from his consumer
by Guest Blogger, Mark McAfee, Organic Pastures Dairy
Consumer’s needs are driving the demand for raw dairy
With the advent of the pasteurizer in 1893 (first called the par boiler) far more than bacteria were killed. The pasteurizer killed personal responsibility. The pasteurizer disconnected and marginalized the farmer and made his quality efforts irrelevant. The pasteurizer killed enzymes and good bacteria and nutritional values. The pasteurizer produced a dead partial food out of a once vital alive and complete whole food. The pasteurizer started milk markets toward a 100 year long slow death as more and more people could not drink dead milk and became sick from it.
This was a death marked by dairy lies that covered its own demise and cover stories of its false benefits and a racist blame game against broad categories of people for their innate deficiencies from a pasteurized dairy invented deficiency called “lactose intolerance” or “Lie” (abbreviated and very true in deed). Literally no one has lactose intolerance…instead it is “ pasteurization intolerance” and nearly anyone can drink raw milk just fine. Yet the dairy industry has invented a blame game that tells Asians and blacks and American Indians that they are not white enough to drink milk. That they have a deficiency. This is a false science and a huge dairy lie. It was their dead food product made toxic by their own shelf life extending technologies that was the problem. It was not the consumer’s fault, regardless of race. The pasteurized milk industry has created a racist blame game and this is the very tip of the iceberg….many more lies lay deep in the political and economic game of selling dead food from industrial farms that do not know any of their customers, personally.
Farmers benefit when they listen to their customers
Last month I was visited by a raw milk dairyman that for 30 years had milked a thousand cows but three years ago had decided to follow his daughters advice and started making raw goat cheese with many fewer animals.
He told me that listening to his daughter was the best thing he had ever done. By making and selling raw goat milk cheese he connected himself to the markets, the people, their taste and the value. He was no longer disconnected from the consumer, their money and choices as he once was for 30 years. He was one very happy guy and sold his cheeses nationally under his own brand. He was in California, visiting Cal Poly SLO. The very university that had preached the mega dairy dogma, “Get Big or Get Out” to so many California dairyman’s sons and daughters…was bankrupt and was now for sale. Yes, the University dairy had failed when it followed its own land grant, BST hormone, Monsanto based advice. The raw milk dairyman was going to visit the funeral and pick over the bones.
So goes the story of farm market systems in the USA. Farmers fail when they disconnect themselves from their consumers and their consumers nutritional needs. When pasteurizers and meaningless faceless brands get between the farmer and the consumer…there will be trouble and the trouble will rest on both the farmer and the consumers plates. The farmer becomes irrelevant and the consumer becomes malnourished. A bad food chain for all involved.
A new breed of farmer is beginning to emerge
What does this mean to the new farmer? This means that he must have marketing skills. That means people skills and the ability to write, speak with, and connect with people and listen to their needs and respond to those needs. This is radical speak. Aren’t farmers supposed to be conservative red necks stuck down on the farm tractor?…no way…. this is the route to certain disaster. Complaining at the coffee shop about the weather and the market is a pathway to losing the farm. Pushing the flesh at the farmers market with your ears wide open and a smile on your face is the path to an agronomically sustainable business plan. Practically anyone can learn to grow food but selling and education of others is a rare yet essential farmer’s skill. That’s the culture in agriculture and it is missing in America.
When ever a farmer connects with people and goes about meeting their needs he starts a raw revolution and all kinds of hell breaks loose. Look at the Amish that serve their communities with raw milk and other unprocessed whole foods. They have listened to the consumer and know that there is no lactose intolerance with raw milk and people want it raw.
A case in point, Michael Schmidt of Canada
Look at Mike Schmidt in Canada. He has been repeatedly beaten down by the politics of the Canadian milk system that bans raw milk not because of safety but because of market control. Look at us here at Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno CA, we have grown every year since 2000 and 50,000 California consumers love us…why? Because we have listened to what they say and we have responded by producing food that they can eat, food that nourishes the inner ecosystem and rebuilds the immune systems destroyed by antibiotics and sterile food. We, just like Mike and the Amish know that people are literally sick of pasteurized milk…because it makes them sick and triggers allergies and asthma. We listened and we are now connected to our consumers and bypassing the commercial dead food chain.
There is so much that surrounds this topic and it is getting hotter and hotter. When ever money starts to change hands and the paradigm in power starts to lose control they scream bloody murder in their attempt to retain control. They will use any means possible to keep their money and their power as it falls away like sand through their fingers.
The organic movement was corrupted when industry got a hold of biodiversity and killed it at the factory when it needed to fix shelf life issues. Organic products are now some of the longest shelf life products on earth…they are ultra dead and they are not local at all.
Consumers, connect with your local farmers
As we pay respect and show our admiration for our farm leaders that include Mike Schmidt, Joel Salatin and others…remember that they produce living foods for living people that love them and connect to them. These farmers do not work from behind a pasteurizer and or from behind a brand that takes the profits and the truth of their existence from them. They stand proud and shake your hand and share the bounty directly with you and your gut says thank you with health and immune system integrity that can only come from the earth through the hands of a farmer that has a name and a family.
Go see the movie, FOOD Inc…it is mandatory viewing for everyone on spaceship earth. You must all know the truth about what is happening on board this very small earthly space ship. Someone is poisoning our limited supply of food and people are getting sick and business is profiting on both ends…the dead food and the illness it produces. The voice of a small minority know exactly what is going on and now it is an act of political disobedience to speak of it. It is radical speak condemned by the FDA and others in power.
Why are we relying on science from the 1890’s?
Now our finest scientists at NIH ( the National Institutes of Health, which is performing the $143 million dollar, five year, human bio-genome project) tell us that gut bacteria are essential to health and that using certain antibiotics destroy our gut immunity permanently (Dr. Young). So much for the killing technologies of 1893 being the saving grace of mankind. Now we find out that the tremendous biodiversity of good bacteria found in raw milk are critically essential to our immune systems and our health.
Give your farmer a hug and heal yourself with real food. Vote with your dollars and starve the paradigm in power.
Power to the people from the raw roots up.
Mark McAfee founded Organic Pastures Dairy Company in 2000, the first organic dairy in Fresno County, California. McAfee pioneered the concept of decentralized milking ( his Mobile Grade A Milk Barn goes out to the cows when it is milking time). His cows graze on a pasture based integrated organic farm with closed nitrogen loop, no lagoons and no concrete, just “clean and green pastures”. The operations now employ 40 people and provide retail ready raw organic dairy products to more than 400 California natural food stores including Wholefoods. Sales are growing at 20% or more per year and now exceed $5 million since being founded.
OPDC is the largest retail approved raw organic dairy products producer in North America. Mark McAfee is regarded by many in the industry as a foremost expert in raw milk safety and raw dairy product markets and technology. Mark is known for bold leadership and was the first milk producer to ever post sensitive bacteria count numbers on a website for the world to see. Mark has made formal presentations on raw dairy issues to legislative bodies, national and international conventions in Canada and Melbourne Australia and or Universities (including Stanford medical school and Rutgers), and fifteen of the United States. Media credits include: ABC’s 20-20 and CBS evening news with Katie Courick.
Mark and his wife Blaine have been married for 25 years and have two children, Aaron 24 and Kaleigh 21, both are fully involved in the creamery and marketing operations.
Mark also helped found the RAWUSA.ORG raw milk production standards. RAW USA.ORG was developed and founded to assist raw milk producers with producing safe raw milk and also allow the consumer to identify these living and safe foods. In more than 100 million servings not one pathogen has ever been found in OPDC raw milk. Visit their website: www.organicpastures.com or call 1-877 RAW MILK.
This post is part of the Natural Cures Tuesday blog carnival, and Michael Schmidt Month on Hartkeisonline.com