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Hibbard, Benjamin Horace, 1870-1955 / The history of agriculture in Dane County, Wisconsin

Chapter IV: The dairy industry,   pp. 176-184 PDF (1.8 MB)

Page 181

several months without any perceptible change in quality, and the
improved equipments in transportation enable it to go to the best
market however distant. The whole general average of excel-
lence in dairy cows has been materially raised by processes which
make it easy to pay for milk according to the butter it will make,
as with the "Babcock Test," and the inefficient and untidy dairy-
man is still further discouraged by the system of state dairy and
creamery inspection in vogue in almost all dairy sections. Ex-
pense of manufacture has been, and is still being, greatly reduced
by the concentration of the business. The good results to be
gained by the system of establishing skimming stations at con-
venient intervals over the country or by using hand separators,
and shipping the cream to some common center where it can be
handled by experts and made into gilt-edge butter at the lowest
possible cost, is a problem not fully worked out. But there has
certainly been an "industrial revolution" so far as dairying is
cerned, and it is still in progress. Moreover, dairying is self-sus-
taining; there is no constant nightmare of over-production, or
fear that the addition of a new island to the flag, or the change in
the political complexion of congress will pauperize those depend-
ent on its prosperity. To the anxiety of tobacco growers over
tariff, and frost, and hail, and drought, the dairyman is almost a
   As to the details of managing a dairy farm little need be said
 to anyone familiar with dairying in any part of the upper Missis-
 sippi Valley. With the exception of a comparatively small num-
 ber of dairies kept primarily for the sale of milk by the quart, they
 are all of a plain business-like sort. Little fancy stock is kept,
 and little fancy or unusual feed used. The cowvs are a motley
 lot in color and breed, there seldom being a herd showing much
 uniformity. In the mixed farming sections the Shorthorns are
 the most common; in the dairy sections there are more Jerseys,
 Holsteins, Guernseys. and what not, each cow being chosen for
 individual excellence, primarily for dairy purposes, yet with the
 secondary object of producing a fair amount of beef; as to the
 ratio in which these qualities should be combined there are about
 as many opinions as farmers. The feed of the dairy cow is grass
 in summer; no soiling is practiced, though a very small feed of
 meal is sometimes given at milking time. Almost invariably
 green corn is fed in the fall as soon as it is well grown or as soon

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