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Intern Diaries saboranch on 15 Feb 2010 02:56 am

Sabo Ranch Intern blog- Jules Feeney-Feb 14, 2010

Jules, log splitting completed, is ready for a hot woodstove on a cold winter morning.

 
Jules, log splitting completed, is ready for a hot woodstove on a cold winter morning.

Jules' favorite Auracana hen, sitting on the nest for her morning egg

Jules’ favorite Auracana hen, sitting in the laying box ready for her fresh morning egg.
Jules, after learning safe handling of the skidsteer loader, helps to line up logs for firewood cutting.
Jules, after learning safe handling of the skidsteer loader, helps to line up logs for firewood cutting.

My internship lasted the entire two weeks and beyond. We worked early in the morning till sometimes later at night, and extending into the weekends. I learned the basic way of life, living off the grid and eating in season. But life here is more than just that, there is a lot more to learn than just how to feed an animal and when. What I did learn was a bit more about real life genetics and how they contribute to the herd as a whole. I also learned about the birthing of calves.  I learned what good milk, eggs and beef are. I also I talked with Jenny about eggs and how if they are fertilized they last longer.

            Not much of this will benefit me in every day life, but in the long run I will know the difference between well and poorly raised eggs beef and milk. Many people don’t have a positive stereotype of farmers but that is not true. That could not be further from the truth. Farmers are hard working people who know more about what they do and how it affects the world than anybody.

            One of the things that we talked about here was the problem facing genetically modified crops such as corn and now alfalfa. Alfalfa is a plant that is used to feed cattle because it is high in protein. What Monsanto, which wants to introduce genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa wants to do is genetically alter the way alfalfa grows so it would not be subject to killing with the herbicide Roundup. This might sound like not such a bad thing but for the organic farmers this could mean the end of organic cattle. One might say “well they can just plant non modified alfalfa”, but this is difficult because organic alfalfa can still be pollinated by the modified alfalfa. If this does occur then Monsanto and the farmer of the modified alfalfa can sue the originally organic farmer for stealing his crop. But still further worrying is that the cows that then eat that alfalfa are now inorganic making it impossible to market that beef as organic, lowering their income. These are the kinds of things that organic farmers consider on a daily basis.

            My trip out here could not have been more educational and  rewarding.

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