September 11 and dairy farming

Hoard's Dairyman: 

September 11 and dairy farming

Date: 
Mon, 09/12/2011

Many lives have changed greatly since that fateful day.

We watched the September 11 special on the History Channel last night, “102 minutes that changed America.” It was moving, to say the least.

The special featured video from several citizen-journalist vantage points. One came from a NYU student with a straight-on view about a mile away. Another one was just blocks away, and “accidentally” filmed the second plane crashing into the South Tower (2 WTC). A third camera came from a family several blocks from ground zero. They were told to evacuate as the dust cloud spread down the street. When they made it to the lobby, they only saw the black cloud outside and firemen, covered in soot, entering their lobby to take cover.

These tragic events live in infamy. We admire the work of the many heroes that day and sympathize with those that lost so much.

Dairies are affected, too

Obvious impacts from 9.11 include searches, seizures, and delays in all forms of major transportation. For those of us who regularly fly on commercial airlines, the necessary security requires more time, patience, and, thus, taxpayer money.

Back on the farm, it may seem like little has changed. We are probably all more vigilant, especially over the last week. But, we have no additional security as the hay enters the rack, the milk enters the tank, or the high-cows find a way to open the gate and enter the low-cow group.

But, for those dairies along the border, some things have changed. In northern Washington, Larry DeHaan’s neighbors a few hundred yards away are now across a checkpoint. A Seattle newspaper told Larry’s story on Saturday. One of his neighbors even spent two months in jail for shining a large flashlight at a helicopter.

On the other side of the country, in northern Vermont, Rainville Farm fought to keep its acreage as the Department of Homeland Security (formed in November 2002) tried to improve its border presence. Their main argument is that, while the border office should remain open, it doesn't need to be so elaborate for 2.5 cars per hour. The farm would lose acreage, which would mean less cows are supported, which would threaten the viability of the farm. You can read more about this string of events reported by an independent Vermont newspaper and Boston news station. As far as we know, the farm remains intact, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection is still evaluating the situation.

Consumers see September 11 through milk

At least two consumers were impacted by the simple September 11 stamp on milk cartons. One blogger’s father was so disturbed by the September 11 stamp that he walked away without buying one http://trumbull.patch.com/articles/911-and-milk. Another was moved by it http://www.parenting.com/blogs/pop-culture/shawn-parenting/how-9-11-ende....

Biosecurity on your farm

Have you changed biosecurity practices on your farm? Is there anything you do differently than you did pre-September 11?

If you’d like some information on biosecurity techniques that can be specified for your farm, tell your veterinarian or extension professional to access the Center for Food Security and Public Health's Infection Control site. There are links for producers, but you can work with your vet or extension agent for a more specified plan.