Nicholas Kristof points out in his New York Times Op Ed that you rarely get good news about food or food production, but he’s happy to report that one of his oldest friends (Bob Bansen) is raising happy Jersey cows in Oregon and proving that one can be both a good businessman and human being at the same time. Kristof takes us to the farm and gives us a tour of this wholesome, organic operation.
Bob, 53, a lanky, self-deprecating man with an easy laugh, is an example of a farmer who has figured out how to make a good living running a farm that is efficient but also has soul.
As long as I’ve known him, Bob has had names for every one of his “girls,” as he calls his cows. Walk through the pasture with him, and he’ll introduce you to them.
“For productivity, it’s important to have happy cows,” [Bob] said. “If a cow is at her maximum health and her maximum contentedness, she’s profitable. I don’t even really manage my farm so much from a fiscal standpoint as from a cow standpoint, because I know that, if I take care of those cows, the bottom line will take care of itself.”
While describing Bansen’s switch to organic eight years ago, Kristof reminds of the spin on the Stanford study that said or organic food was not more nutritious than conventionally raised food. It brings back the main point, that organic food is not poison.
It’s a good article, with good news for a change and worth reading the whole thing.