Dancing with Horned Ladies Response

Honestly, I wasn’t really surprised by the fact that this Dutch farmer has carved out a specific niche for himself in not providing his cows vaccinations/antibiotics. The Dutch style of parenting is super hands-off (“let the kids run around in the busy restaurant” kind of hands-off), and this seemed like the logical application of that logic to farming.

I think American agriculture could definitely learn from the more natural approach to farming. I’d have to imagine that this style of farming can only be implemented on a smaller scale though; it seems fairly high-cost and labor intensive. I have to assume that the cheese produced by De Groote Voort is more expensive than comparable Remeker cheeses.

I’m also curious how the practices of larger Dutch farms compare to larger American farms. De Groote Voort is an anomaly in Dutch farms as well – it is only one of fifteen farms that doesn’t use antibiotics for their cows and the only one that makes cheese with their milk. I think the practices of larger Dutch farms would be a better comparison with the unsustainable American farms that we know well.

I also thought it was interesting that the farmers had a general “nature will solve it” attitude. In the rest of the class, we’ve talked about how the Dutch have sought to control every aspect of nature. Yet in this aspect, the farmers have complete faith in nature. Obviously, I think this can go wrong really easily. For example, a disease like mad cow disease could take hold, completely destroying entire farms. Ultimately, I think people should adopt a more natural form of farming, but do so in a way that reduces risk while maintaining sustainability.

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