Dairy farm to learn life and food
I run a farm in a residential neighborhood of Hachioji, Tokyo. We have a total of 90 cows, including Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss, Airshire and Gandhi.
In addition to shipping milk, there is also a direct sales office selling dairy products such as milk, yogurt and ice cream. Milk is made by blending four types of fresh cow’s milk. By mixing, the taste is not monotonous.
Milk experience events are held every Sunday. With the topic of food education, we will talk about dairy farming while guiding the breeder and the milking experience. In the milking experience, when it comes to the source of milk as blood, the freshly expressed milk placed in the palm of the hand feels warm. Alternatively, you can make and eat pizza using the cheese in the pizza pot in the lobby. Some participants said, “Milk is made by the hardworking cows possible, and I realize how grateful they are.” Through these efforts, we are certified as a “dairy farm” where you can learn about food and life.
An environment where cows can live happily
Isonuma Milk Farm pays special attention to “cattle welfare” so that the cows can live healthy and happy. Animal welfare is a concept born in Europe that protects the natural life of animals and provides a comfortable environment.
At first glance, the method of connecting cows, managing and feeding a certain amount of feed on time seems to be effective. However, the cows lived under stress under many restrictions and became weaker and weaker. When an infectious disease spreads there, it spreads on the farm. Since livestock’s health and development environment and food safety are closely related, the idea of livestock welfare is to practice dairy farming with the happiness of the cattle.
Milk is mainly for the mother cow to feed the calf. We produce about 20 liters of milk per day for lactation. We have a share of our love for calves.
We are blessed, so we want the cows to spend their time as comfortably and comfortably as possible. I want my children to eat what they want to eat. If they want to sleep, they will sleep, develop healthy, delicious milk.
So we designed a “free barn” that gives you the freedom to move around in the barn without having to connect cows. Cows can eat when they want and sleep wherever they want. Also, the amount of food and water is variable, and we give as much as we want. We use natural water pumped from 50 meters underground and blend 80 types of minerals to make milk more delicious.
In the evening, the cows will be released to the farm, only a short walk from the farm. Cows run around the pasture, calves play with each other and they freely move around to reduce stress on the cows.
Farm to work in the city
Another commitment is to be a ranch in the city. My farm is located in a block, about 5 minutes walk from the station. Even in such an urban area, we are devising ways to keep the farm as long as possible.
In addition, we thoroughly take measures against odors to the surrounding environment. Every morning, about 1000 kg of a mixture of coffee beans, flour and cocoa shells is placed on the bed of the barn. Prevent odors by adsorption of feces and water. In addition, the daily drying of the barn, where there is a bed, is a comfortable environment for the cows.
Dairy farm efforts where you can learn about food and life also contribute to the community, so the main audience is primary and junior high school students locally. In addition, we are receiving milk training in cooperation with the university.
Relationship between cows and humans
In the future, I want to expand the farm for the neighbors to participate. For example, the cow owner system. We ask the owners to name the calves, and as the cows get older, we make dairy products from the cows and sell them. Become an owner and go to the farm to make cheese and yogurt over the weekend. I’m thinking about how to enjoy dairy farming like that.
The relationship between cattle and humans is believed to have started about 10,000 years ago. The Japanese received milk support in the harsh postwar circumstances. Now lack of milk is difficult to live. On the other hand, cows have been engineered to benefit humans and are indispensable animals without humans. It is an inseparable relationship even when we intersect.
If you touch the cow, it will give you a lot of delicious milk and return it. Confidence is created with the cow, and the cow can be spoiled. Instead of taking care of them, I want to work as a dairy farmer to see it as the happiness of the cows and to build a better relationship between cows and humans.