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Farm tour tilts mom more in favor of regular dairies
Do you remember the first time you took your newborn to church and another, more experienced mom (parent of a seven-month-old) looked at you in horror and said, “Oh, you’re not going to leave your newborn in the nursery, are you? You never know what he might catch in there; when Sammy was born, I didn’t take him out of the house for the first six months, except for doctor visits, of course.”

Or when you and your two-year-old were at a play date, the other moms were discussing which preschool they would trust with their precious, gifted and talented toddler, and one of the considerations was the preschool tuition? The higher the tuition, the better the education, right?

Yes, making sure they have the correct educational approach in teaching a three-year-old how to count to 20 and learning their primary colors is … well, how can you put a price on that?
But what about the last school board meeting, where the physically fit, health-nut, green tea-touting vegetarian nutritional expert stood up and demanded there be gluten-free offerings and said milk is bad for you and anything that once was breathing should never be consumed by our precious, innocent children because of the copious amounts of hormones, GMOs, antibiotics, ionophores, free electrons, cyanide grounds, bone meal and bed bugs that have entered the food system – and nothing is safe as we know it?
Sound familiar?

This is funny now, but if you’re a first-time parent or your career path hasn’t taken a course anywhere near food production or you just plain don’t know your stuff, more than likely you’re going to stay away from milk, wheat, beef and anything else they’ve said was bad and appears unhealthy.

And you may even believe the credible-sounding fearmongers. It’s a shame, but this is what’s happening in our country.
And then came Amina.

Amina Bennett, author of the “Momma Mina” blog, recently enjoyed a farm visit to Drendel Dairy Farm and a tour at Dean’s Distribution plant, both in Illinois. On her tour she learned how milk is processed from cow to cooler.

As she looked and listened, she learned there was a boatload of misinformation out there that consumers take as truth. You can read her remarks at

The main take-away from her blog post were the top five reasons she switched from buying organic milk to conventionally produced milk. Simply put, she realized that cows eat grass, not just corn; milk is not full of antibiotics; rBST is not a factor anymore; there are several quality control measures built into milk processing; and the final reason comes down to dollars and cents – organic milk costs more to produce and she realized she was paying for it.
What she learned is so simple and yet, still, today consumers believe the lies that are implied on labels, the misinformation shared from the uneducated through social media or what the misinformed but well-intended, health-nut mom told them at the last Student of the Month breakfast.

The process of Drendel’s opening up their farm and Dean Foods opening up their plant changed one popular blogger who will have immeasurable influence on her friends and readers.

Kudos to non-farm blogger Amina Bennett, for writing about what we’ve been saying for years. Thank you for using your common sense, not giving into the fear mongers and for simply stating the facts.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Melissa Hart may write to her in care of this publication.