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Dairy farmer association upset at Beakman and Jax

Last Sunday’s Beakman and Jax regarding a question about dairy farming has upset many dairy farmers. American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman has reportedly sent a letter to Beakman and Jax creator Jok Church and Universal Press. The comic, which answers children’s questions about science, responded to a question about the age of cows when they give birth. The strip, which I cannot find online, reportedly over uses the term “farm factories,” and misrepresents cow diets and lifespans.

In a letter to cartoonist Jok Church, copied to the president of the strip’s distributor, Universal Press Syndicate, Stallman informed Church that the strip printed nationwide on April 18 was “filled with errors, inaccuracies and outright lies. You have done a great disservice to America’s hard-working dairy farm families and to consumers who purchase dairy products.” Stallman pointed out that few of the “facts” provided in the strip were correct.

“It appears you have an agenda to push, which is more important to you than educating your readers with the truth,” Stallman stated. “First, a 15-month-old calf is called a ‘yearling,’ not a ‘cow’ as you state. In addition, dairy cows are mature when they have their first calf-usually around 24 months of age. There is no way on earth that a cow could calve at 15 months. That would require her to be bred at six months of age, which does not happen.”

Community Comments

#1 Ben Carlsen
April/22/2010
@ 12:23 pm

Was never a fan, but now I feel justified. Ask Shagg totally beats them.

#2 Jeff Stanson
April/22/2010
@ 12:56 pm

Could be just a matter of the source they used for their information ? obviously not the correct one.

#3 Dave Stephens
April/22/2010
@ 2:58 pm

The anti-farming phrase, “Farm Factories” is a dead give-away.
Anti-meat folks like vegans and vegetarians or PETA are happy to label farms in that negative way.

#4 Kelly Ferguson
April/22/2010
@ 4:27 pm

Looks like someone needs to go back to Bovine University.

#5 Ted Dawson
April/22/2010
@ 9:37 pm

You guys really think that “American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman” is “helping them set the record straight?”

#6 Rodd Perry
April/22/2010
@ 9:41 pm

I hear Bovine University is a real cow college. No?

#7 Jena Mia
April/26/2010
@ 12:25 pm

It’s great that Beakman and Jax gave kids the truth: that the lives of cows on dairy farms are bleak. Despite any of the minor terminological discrepancies Stallman and the DFA cited, they can’t deny that infantile calves are taken from their soon-to-be mourning mothers, locked in crates where their muscles will waste away, never feeling sun on their faces or grass under their hooves, to become veal. I grew up in a dairy farming community, and have seen the horrors of the industry first-hand. Though there’s nothing funny about the lives of cows on FACTORY FARMS (factory farms, factory farms), it IS laughable that Stallman suggests that it is the Beakman and Jax comic strip that is “pushing an agenda” – you don’t think the money grubbing DFA has an agenda? Ha!

#8 Kefin Frisk
April/26/2010
@ 12:36 pm

The dairy industry loves to paint itself in a nostalgic, bucolic, totally phoney way – all that “happy cows are in california” bullshit. Just take a drive down the I-5 to see dairy cows standing in shit, crammed together, looking like they’re in hell; or try lovely little Petaluma, CA, for a peek at the baby calves being tortured inside those little white veal crates lining the fronts of all those “quaint” dairies.

#9 Victoria H
April/26/2010
@ 12:38 pm

I’m glad my kids saw that Beakman and Jax strip. I don’t want the wool pulled over their eyes they way all you meatlovers pull the wool over your kids eyes.

#10 Emily
April/26/2010
@ 12:48 pm

I wonder how Stallman would like to be forcibly impegnated, have his male children stolen from him to become veal, and then be milked with creepy machinery? Probably not much. But I’m glad he and his huge, big-bucks cooprative found the strength to fight against that threatening agenda pusher, “Beakman and Jax,” the all-powerful children’s Sunday comic!

#11 Dave Stephens
April/26/2010
@ 1:18 pm

Meatlovers?? LOL

Yeah, you’ll win us ‘meatlovers’ over with that rhetoric, fer sure!
Thanks Kefin, Jena, Emily and Victoria, but I think I’ll continue to stab a knife and fork into hapless bovine flesh – hurray for delicious steaks washed down with cold glasses of milk! Yum!

#12 Gar Molloy
April/27/2010
@ 4:18 am

@Dave

Have you ever had a bacon sandwich, but instead of bread you use steaks? It’s exactly as good as it sounds, and almost as healthy!

#13 Paul Hoover
April/28/2010
@ 6:11 am

I am one of the dairy farmers some of you are reviling. I milk about 70 cows which have pasture some 220 days a year. Living in PA alongside I 81, I am under constant observation by the public. I try to keep my cows as healthy as possible yes to make $ from them. I would be happy to show people my farm and to explain why we treat the cows and calves the way we do. Some people just take what they are fed by “reliable” sources and never check out the truth. I dare you to actually do it and see who is pulling the wool over whose eyes.

#14 Amy Weingart
April/28/2010
@ 7:15 am

Most (not all) of you non dairy people have no clue. You watch an ad (cartoon) and assume its true. Non meat lovers attack dairy — what’s up with that! You don’t even know the difference!

Our animals are our life line and will not produce well if not treated well. We have regular weekly visits from the vet, bi monthly visits from the hoof trimmer, we have a nutritionist that monitors (2-3 times per month) all feed intake to see that they remain healthy. Our barns are cleaned daily, our stalls bedded with fresh sawdust on Thursdays. Our calves are bedded with fresh straw weekly. USDA inspections, drivers for the milk hauling all observe our farm regularly. You are sadly mistaken. If you haven’t worked on a farm, visited a farm, observed a farm…you are very disadvantaged and have missed a huge opportunity to educate yourself!

Youngstock (heifers) are not bred until they are of proper age and calve usually after 22-26 months (avergae being 24 months). We didn’t design this…..God did! Argue with Him!

What if I critiqued your jobs without knowing the truth?

PS….your nasty attitudes and comments about things you don’t understand are based on fear not facts….please get the story straight and bring your children to a farm……

#15 Bob Haight
April/28/2010
@ 9:22 am

Thank you to all of you hard working farmers providing us with the wholesome food that you do for the lowest cost of any developed country in the world. I know it has been a very tough 18 months for those of you in the dairy industry not making enough money to pay your costs. I want you to know that there are millions of us who appreciate all you do for us. Where would we be without you?

#16 fsuaggie
April/28/2010
@ 9:33 am

First, for those of you that know nothing about agriculture and those of you that think you know about agriculture just because you grew up in a dairy commmunity, you know nothing! Organizations like PETA and HSUS are anti agriculture organizations that prey on peoples sympathies. Animals are not humans and they should not be treated like such.
I am an agriculture teacher and yes animals should be treated in safe and humane ways. The problem is that most people do not understand why or how livestock are treated the way that they are on farms and ranches. It is not in a producers best interest to treat their livestock poorly and that is what the majority of you do not understand. Yes farms and ranches are businesses, but that does not mean that the people that run them do not care about livestock. The vast majority of farms and ranches in the U.S. are family owned and only a very small percentage are owned by corporations. No farm or ranch is a factory!
Were do you people think that you are going to get your food, clothing and homes without agriculture. I hate to tell all of you but U.S. agriculture feeds the world and without it all of you liberals would be really crying about starving children in other countries more than you already do. And don’t even get me started about organic farming, that is the biggest farce out there. Milk from non organic dairies is the same as milk from organic dairies. Neither can contain any synthetic hormones or antibiotic residues and be sold for human consumption. Also anything produced organically makes a larger carbon footprint than conventional farming methods, thus creating more pollution and damage to the environment. Those of you that are so concerned ought to think about how much more land would be needed to feed the U.S. and the world population if all farmers went organic. If you think you can get your food from some other country, think again. They still use DDT in other countries and they do not care about the environment or about using antibiotics in livestock. So the next time that you eat anything or put on your clothes think about the farmer or rancher that produced the bounty that you have. Without them, you would be dead in your big cities and little electric cars!

#17 fsuaggie
April/28/2010
@ 9:34 am

Thank you Mr. Haight. And to answer your question, Naked and Hungry!

#18 Gayle Jones
April/28/2010
@ 10:09 am

I am one of those dairy farmers you want to criticize.
Do you want to set all the animals free to roam the country?
We have vets that see the cows more than most people see their doctors.
And then to criticize the use of numbers for cow identification – are we all not classified by our own governments as numbers? This is our social security number, our house number, phone number, ect.
We take very good care of our animals – and yes, they are animals not humans. How clean are you houses – can we inspect them the way you want to inspect our farms?
It has been a very bad year for farmers but we continued to care for our animals while losing money doing so.
If you choose to not eat meat – go ahead but to have agenda to have all people live your life style is just wrong. Publishing garbage and lies to achieve your agenda is terrible.
God put every thing on this planet for us to survive and that includes the animals. We are good care givers of both the animals and the land.

#19 Dr. Jenn
April/28/2010
@ 1:32 pm

For all of those who say that all milk comes from “factory farms”, where are these places? I work with dairy cows daily in the course of veterinary practice and have yet to see anything resembling a “factory”.

I challenge anyone who says agriculture is cruel to spend a day on a working farm. I assume you will need to drive for a bit, though, as the city doesn’t have many farms.

#20 Jay Matteson
April/29/2010
@ 7:35 am

For accurate information on dairy farming, please go to http://www.jeffersoncountydairyfarms.com. For those who use the term Factory Farms, you are correct, ALL farms are factories. Factories are PLACES where raw products are converted into something with added value. Look it up in a dictionary. Farms are places where raw products, sunlight, water, seeds, soil, are used to create value added products. Whether you are growing one acre of organic vegetables or milking 2000 cows, your farm is a factory. Albeit, the best kind of factory God created.

So, for all of the animal ag hate mongers out there, when you turn over an acre of soil to plant your crops, how do you plan to save the thousands of earthworms, who are living breathing creatures, and have as many rights as a dairy cow? Have you ever stuck a fishhook in an earthworm, they feel pain. So how do you get around that to grow your crops?

#21 Tom Wood
April/29/2010
@ 8:03 am

I just hope nobody does a cartoon that upsets the chicken farmers… Or the asparagus growers, they’re brutal!

#22 Hutch
May/7/2010
@ 6:34 am

the cartoon done it’s job, it made me laugh! gas is a natural product of the fermentation process in the rumen, you clown (sorry for the name calling but folks who do not know what they are talking about should not be talking). cattle are going to belch and fart regardless if they consume grain products or forages. God made them that way.

#23 Hutch
May/7/2010
@ 11:24 am

no one has mentioned the upside-down p.s. at the bottom of the cartoon about magnets placed in cows. unfortunately cows do accidently ingest various pieces of metal and the magnet serves an important role in the animals overall health. the magnet collects those pieces of metal to keep them from damaging the digestive tract and causing “hardware disease”. i wish my friend had not eaten pantyhose and caused a blockage,and a big doctor bill, but i cannot control his behavior only try to prevent a probelm or deal with it best i can after it occurs. oh, by the way my friend is a cowdog.

#24 Jon Lane
May/8/2010
@ 9:56 am

I could do without the propaganda from Jax on global warming also. It’s a shame that this buffoon feels he has to inflict his politics on young children.
Hey Jax why don’t you pick on someone your own size Creep!

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