Tuesday, 12 October 2010

'Make Mine Milk' - the campaign.

Time was when we were a dairy farm - before we got Foot-and-Mouth disease and our whole herd was slaughtered within the space of two hours. The farmer milked his herd at 6.30am and 5.30pm 365 days in the year. In Winter this meant all day spent swilling out the parlour, cleaning out the housing, putting down fresh straw, feeding - then starting all over again. Calving meant tramping down the field in the dead of night to see a cow's progress or help her to calve. Calves had to be fed and watered - the job was never-ending and by golly you had to like it to do it.

Now, because the returns on milk price are so low, many small farmers have quit the industry. A small herd is just not financially viable and it is impossible to make a living unless you have a large herd.

Also milk seems to have gone out of fashion here to some extent. When we were kids we had school milk - remember those days. We used to have cardboard bottle tops with a pushy hole in the middle - they were fabulous for making woolly pom-poms too.
When the weather was frosty the frost used to cause the cream to expand and push out the top - it used to be so good to eat - just like ice cream (which it was really, I suppose).

When we were in The Netherlands the other week we realised how much more to the fore in diet milk is there. Our friends gave us glasses of milk to drink; how long is it since you drank a glass of milk? It was cold and delicious and I wondered why we never had it at home. Our friends also drink Buttermilk. I searched at Tesco's this morning and eventually found a small carton, labelled 'for cooking'- well nobody has told our friends that - they drink it daily as part of their diet.

At present there is a Make Mine Milk Campaign aimed at getting people to drink more milk- particularly low fat milk. It is aimed primarily at teenagers and mums - after all milk is such a good, whole food. But somehow it has gone out of popularity.

Various celebrities are involved in the campaign and there are various prizes to be won etc. If you want to know more about it you can go to Twitter@makemineMilk or to www.youtube.com/makemineMilkuk.

Round here most of our dairy farmers sell their milk to the Wensleydale Creamery for making cheese. It is good to think that real Wensleydale cheese is made from genuine Wensleydale milk, isn't it?

I do urge you to try a glass of cold milk - I so enjoyed it and wondered why I had ever stopped drinking the stuff. Do you remember the previous campaign 'Drinka pinta milka day' -


acornmoon said...

I am pouring one as we speak! I cannot begin to imagine how horrible Foot and Mouth was. I am also very sad to hear about the diminishing returns on milk. I love to see a herd of dairy cows, it is part of our heritage and shapes our landscape.

To answer your question about prints, I can print more or less anything in my portfolio, I have it all on file. If you want anything email me and I will gladly send you a complementary print because, well just because!

Pondside said...

I remember the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak and how it affected The Great Dane's farming family in Denmark.
We drink milk every day at our house. There's nothing better than a sandwich and a glass of cold milk - well perhaps a warm chocolate chip cookie and cold milk, or a piece of chocolate cake and a glass, or a date square and a glass...........

Jinksy said...

I buy skimmed sterilised milk, mostly because it outlasts the ordinary skimmed, and tastes heaps better too. I do still drink it cold, by the glass, when the mood takes me, so I'm on your side! :)

Heather said...

I love a glass of cold milk but my memories of school milk were mixed as ours was often sour by mid-morning in summer. I used to take a small container of milk from the morning's milking from my grandmother's goat. My heart went out to all farmers whose herds had to be killed during the Foot and Mouth outbreak and think it is dreadful that those who produce good, wholesome 'homegrown' produce don't get a decent price for their efforts. At least the cheese industry seems to be thriving though I probably shouldn't eat it when I'm trying to lose weight! It just isn't fair that food is fattening!!

willow said...

You've given me a craving. Off to pour a nice glass of cold milk...

angryparsnip said...

How sad to see your whole heard of cows destroyed in the space of two hours.

In America milk has gone out of fashion also and milk prices have caused lots of small dairy farmers to close.

California for years had a great campaign about happy cows and poked fun at California earthquakes to snow storms in Wisconsin from the cows point of view.
Right now they are running ads about the family farms and who runs them and it is wonderful.

We are lucky in Tucson to have the same Shamrock Dairy I visited as a schoolchild.
To this day I remember that the cows had names and were very beautiful with lovely eyes. It was a great school trip.
I almost called the Dairy up one day to see is they still had tours.

Wonderful post.
cheers, parsnip

Golden West said...

Things go better with milk!

Poet in Residence said...

How well I remember free school milk in those third of a pint bottles and drinking it through a soggy straw made from real paper. And, if by chance there was one left over in the crate you could be sure I'd be the one to grab it. Yes, it was a very good foundation - the milk and the daily teaspoon of cod-liver oil shoved in the mouth after breakfast, after brushing teeth with dentifrice a kind of blue powder in a tin. Saved a fortune on medical bills in later life. God help today's children with diabetes and dissfunctional metabolism from cola and other such muck.

Poet in Residence said...

I forgot to say that I've just had cottage cheese for my supper. That's milk, Pat!

ps- Joan Cairns is on my blog :)

Feltmaker said...

Milk is still very much in fashion in our household - practically raised my children on it - Milk or water to drink for them ;)


Derrick said...

I certainly enjoyed well-chilled milk at school and always enjoy what I put on my cereals each morning but I admit I don't drink a glassful very often!

gill said...

Great post on milk!!
We as a family drink loads - my sons drink at least a pint every day.
As a dairy farmer's daughter and a vet's wife I know all too well how hard the life is (But also how rewarding)
Re foot and mouth my family were also affected and my husband even more so

steven said...

weaver as a boy going to school in altrincham i remember the bottles of milk with thin foil lids that the birds pecked through and i remember the papr straws that turned into soggy pulpy messes if you so much as chewed on them!!! i eat all sorts of dairy products but i can't drink milk anymore. steven

Anonymous said...

Just when I have to give up dairy products. Suddenly milk in all its incarnations seems irresistible!

Grizz………… said...

Growing up, Dad and I were always big milk drinkers. In fact Dad never drank anything but milk or water. Between the two of us, we accounted for four or five gallons of milk every week. My mother seldom drank what she always called "sweet milk," but she loved buttermilk and drank a glass or two every day. I still drink milk occasionally, but always feel guilty afterwards because whole milk—which I prefer—gets such bad press from the food police. Nothing beats a glass of cold milk!

Cloudia said...

I must try your cheese!

Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral


ChrisJ said...

I love milk! I drink a glass of cold Ovaltine (made with cold milk) every day and an additional 1/2 glass of just milk, I once bought a carton of what I thought was milk. It was so delicious I drank two glasses -- only to find it was half and half (half cream.) Oh my but it was good! I remember the school milk and the pompoms. In fact when I was teaching I showed one class how to make pompoms, but making our own cardboard templates of course.
I drink 2% milk now, much to my disgust, but it's better than none at all.

Helsie said...

Oh how tragic to have your heard slaughtered! Farming can be such a heart breaking business ( and back breaking too !)
In Australia we had free milk when I was going to Primary School. It would be delivered early in the morning and would wait (often in the sun!) 'til "Little Lunch" (morning tea -about 10:30). By this time, in Queensland, it was warm ( at best ) and very unpleasant and we HAD to drink it!
It probably put a lot of children off milk for life !
I have to say I rarely drink milk these days. The climate here really works against it but if we are ever in the UK we seem to drink a fair bit of hot chocolate and of course your cheese is way better than ours because (I'm told) we can only make ours from pasteurised milk and we therefore lose out on a lot of flavour. Does that sound right to you? I don't know much about these things but it sounds reasonable to me!
I think dairy farmers in Australia have the same type of battle as yours do with small heards not being viable any more but at least we don't have to worry about foot and mouth disease.

Ruby said...

We had a herd of Jerseys and my brothers and I used to do the milking. We didn't employ a cowman, he was "us". When my father died we went out and milked an hour late that day and the cows were all stomping around wondering where we were. We gave up cows in the late 1980s when we were paid to give up. I now drink soya milk.

The Weaver of Grass said...

From your replies I deduce that there is a whole generation of us with good strong bones from school milk.
Thanks to Poet for reminding me about that horrible blue tooth powder which came in a tin - I had forgotten it.
Thanks also to Gill - I have tried to get on to your blog but can only
get on to a profile page. Would love to pay you a visit but can't see how.
Hope the organisation who asked me to publish milk yesterday are pleased with the response too.

MorningAJ said...

I've never been a great fan of milk as a drink (I used to sell mine to a lad at school because he would happily drink two bottles!)
On the other hand - keep making the Wensleydale cheese! I'll eat that "till the cows come home". :)

Elizabeth Stanforth-Sharpe said...

I adore milk. My dad used to bring a jug in fresh from the milking and like one of your other commentators, I also enjoyed it still warm and frothing from the goat. I can close my eyes and I am instantly transported back to our milking parlour.

I dropped into the Creamery this summer. It was mid re-organisation, but some interesting stuff there. x

Gerry Snape said...

I grew up drinking buttermilk. We make our bread with it in Ireland. But like you I find it very difficult to buy over here and yoghurt isn't the same, well at least what they sell us as yoghurt!