Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"We best leave now for what is best for our health!"

Today we jumped right into animal agriculture in Denmark. We started off the day at the Danish Crown pork processing facility. Danish Crown is known as the most modern slaughter facility in the world. They are a cooperative owned by the farmers that processes around 15 million hogs per year. We were able to observe and discuss from start to finish the processing of hogs at Danish Crown. Their pork is enjoyed in Denmark as well as around the world. There is a very good chance that if you have enjoyed baby back ribs in the United States they came from Danish Crown. To wrap up our time at Danish Crown we enjoyed a pork lunch. The delicious pork cut came from the back leg of the hog.

Next we made our way to a dairy farm named Vejlskovgard. This is a dairy that is on the cutting edge and very forward thinking. A prime example of this is the fact that the young farmer we met, who gave us the tour, was planning on meeting with a group of farmers his age tomorrow to discuss management and financial practices for 10 hours. This group meets 5-6 times a year. They are milking around 450 cows. Their barns and milking areas have a very modern design that let lots of light and airflow into the buildings. Robots are a major part of their operation. They had robotic milkers, feed pushers, manure pushers, and bedders. Visitors are welcomed to their farm at any time without an appointment. They are always willing to share what they are doing with others.

After our visit to the dairy we made our way to an organic farm growing crops from wheat to carrots to horse beans (a substitute for soybeans that is not as high in protein) along with milking 500 dairy goats. They had about 1,000 acres of crop ground with additional forest area. Some of the buildings on the manor dated back to the 1300's. We checked out the goat milking parlor that was a carousel set-up and then made our way to the fields to examine the many diverse crops. We had a discussion on the many challenges they have faced in organic production.

We wrapped up the evening at Henrik and Maria's home where we had a spectacular dinner and shared great conversation. There were so many sweets for dessert that it was stated, "We best leave now for what is best for our health!"

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