When Texas dairy farmer Sieto Mellema looks out among his 3,000 cows and thousands of acres of crops, he doesn’t see a factory.
He sees a dairy farm that he and his family run with the utmost care and respect for their animals and their land. This is in contrast to the story some special interest groups tell in an attempt to persuade people to think otherwise about farms the size of Mellema’s, labeling them “factory farms.”
Mellema said education and first-hand experiences help people understand there is nothing resembling a “factory” at his farm.
“Some people see our farm and they think it’s too big to be normal, so it must be a ‘factory,’” he said. “We do tours here all the time and everyone is astounded with the care we provide our cows. Even people in a rural town like ours (Dalhart) are amazed, so I can see someone in a large city having this mindset.
“The term factory farm is misleading but it’s just not understanding farming on the part of people who say that. It hurts me to the core to hear my farm called that, but all you can do is educate.”
Check out these posts where Mellema discusses common questions about large farms:
1. Are cows cared for better on smaller farms?
2. Are large farms family owned and operated?
3. Do large dairy farms pollute the environment?