Pamela Selz-Pralle and her husband, Scott, operate a 400-cow dairy farm in Clark County, Wisconsin. They are both fourth-generation dairy farmers.
As a mother, wife and dairy farmer, I spend a great deal of time thinking about the safety and nutrition of the food I provide my family and the food we provide our customers. I would never use a product that compromises animal welfare or food safety. My family and I drink the same wholesome milk as our customers.
Hormone Use in Dairy Farming
The most common hormone used in dairy cattle is called rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) rBST is a synthetic version of BST, a naturally-occurring protein produced by the pituitary glands of all mammals. It is necessary for normal growth, development and good health. The word recombinant describes the method for producing the hormone. It is similar to the method scientists use to produce synthetic insulin for diabetics.
Why Use rBST?
We supply our cows with this extra BST to help them produce more milk. It’s processed in the animal’s bloodstream just the same as her naturally-occurring BST.
The primary reason we use it is to help our cows be more efficient at converting the nutrients from feed into milk. This allows us to produce more milk without using more resources, so our impact on the environment doesn’t increase.
Research on rBST in Milk
We have been using rBST on our farm for 21 years. In that time, we have not seen a single negative side effect – with the cows or with the milk they produce. During that same time period, rBST has been researched by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Committee, among others. Each of these groups has signed off on the hormone’s safety for use in dairy cattle.
We stand by its use, and we believe we are producing milk that is wholesome, safe and nutritious. I welcome your comments and questions on this subject.
Source: Common Ground