During this momentous event, however, General Washington would not allow the honors of war- a long held belief, amongst gentleman worriers, to which both Washington and Cornwallis subscribed, dictating that the loosing party march to the beat of the victor’s tune. Most assuredly this would have been Yankee Doodle Dandy or something of the type – an ostensibly American melody.
No, not today. On this day Washington would demand that the British march their formations of surrender, one in which each soldier would lay down his musket, to the tune of their own choosing.
Their choice – “The World Turned Upside Down”, a ballad dating to the 1640’s borne of anger to protest the rule of parliament in that day, of the belief that Christmas should be a solemn occasion and thus outlawing the gaiety and celebration we all enjoy surrounding the yuletide season, even today (yes, they could do that back then – hence one of the reasons for a revolution)
You can listen to it here, sung by a modern folk band, but this line in the lyrics is especially poignant…
“Command is given, we must obey, and quite forget old Christmas day: Kill a thousand men, or a Town regain, we will give thanks and praise amen.”
Harkening to the scriptures of Acts 17, the writer reveals his motivation for rebellion and stubbornly refuses to submit – kill an entire town, we will still celebrate joyously.
I find it incredibly odd, that Cornwallis, or his deputies even, would choose such a song, for without understanding the context in which it was written, and only observing the title, one might conclude this to be appropriate tune of subtle protest - after all, the most powerful military on earth had just been defeated by a rag-tag group of rebels and misfits.
"Farmer Gives Cooped Up Cows VR Headsets to Increase Milk Production"
If that is not a world turned upside down, I don’t know what is.
Of late, regardless of your political, social, or religious views, you may certainly conclude that the world itself has been not only been turned upside down, but violently shaken and had the pennies dropped out of it’s pockets.
There seems not a day gone by in the last two years that I’ve not been traumatized in amazement and disbelief at the actions of our society – frankly, for a simple Rancher guy, just trying to bring righteous food to my constituents, I am often bewildered by the schemes I read about in the agriculture community and our country in general.
I may be too simple – but to me, it seems madness abounds.
Perhaps, I am too unsophisticated, traditional, or old-fashioned.
But may I ask…
Why don’t we just put the cows back out on pasture to let them see lush, green pastures for themselves, without the VR technology?
Would that hurt so much?
Are we so in love with our ideas, so enamored with our hubris that we must pervert nature to this degree?
If you are not aware, dairymen, keep their Cows in a barn, close to the milking stall for good reason.
First, they must feed them an artificially high, grain and corn-based diet to keep milk production levels elevated. They must do this because dairy farms survive on pounds of production, per hoof-pound of cattle. Meaning, as a dairyman, I calculate my success (and thus income) by dividing the total weigh of my heard, by the total output of milk (measured in pounds, not gallons). This keeps the math simple and can tell me if I am not getting enough production from my heard and thus need to make a change in feed or procedures.
Additionally, having the cows nearby is a matter of convenience.
Let me explain.
On a Ranch or a Farm, a key component that contributes to burn-out is repetition. Dairy farms are the hardest to endure in this respect. Twice per day, seven-days a week, 365 days per year, every year, you must milk your cows.
Want to jet out of town for a week?
That might be impossible – you must find a substitute. The Cows have got to be milked. Period.
When Eve and I had milk Cows the whole family involved to some degree or another. Eve’s father would help milk when I couldn’t. The kids would help by gathering our small Jersey Cow herd from the pasture in the morning and “warming up the milk barn”. It was an all-hands effort and, might I add an incredible repetitive one at that.
Having Cows right next to, or in a Barn would be a boon for moral – 20 minutes could be saved by not having to go round up the herd, twice per day, all year long. That’s over 240 hours per year! Imagine what you could do with that amount of time on a Ranch? How many fences could be repaired, chicken tractors built, or beaver analog dams constructed to help repair a stream that was eroding?
So, both nutrition and convenience would lead to having your dairy cattle nearby, or even better, confined – thus the incentive for a Farmer to keep dairy cattle on pasture is practically nil.
But, what about the benefit? Could that outweigh the cost of gathering the Cows morning and evening for milking?
The benefits of pasture-based milk production are so numerous, they reach beyond the scope of this blog, but just to whet your appetite, here are a few…
- Beta-carotene in the milk would increase substantially
- Animal health would exponentially improve
- There would be no need for sub-therapeutic, or prophylactic antibiotic use
- Breeding and cycling would become far more efficient
- Nutrient transfer would cease (if you don’t know what this is, see my blog here)
- Plant health would increase dramatically, thus resulting in better water retention, carbon sequestration and less erosion
- Cow manure would be distributed, thus decreasing, or eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers
- The Rancher’s health would improve (walk out and get the cows)
A World Turned Upside Down was written as a protest and evidently only the title was considered by General Cornwallis and his staff as dissent to the breaking down of old ways – how dare the rebels defeat us?
But isn’t what we need today, a deeper understanding for the hidden lyrics of society? Should we be those who, agriculturally speaking, read only the title, or ought we to look at a deeper meaning, a better solution to our problems?
Can we do that?
I’ll tell you we can and here at SonRise Ranch - and we do!
Beginning this summer, we will be adding our milk cow herd at our Guest Ranch. Not only will our visitors we able to see a real, working regenerative Agriculture Ranch, ride a horse and eat from the bounty of the Ranch larder, but soon also be able to drink milk, make butter and add cream to their coffee from a real, pastured Cow. No grains. No homogenization. No pasteurization. No funny business.
Just real, down home, gritty Ranching – in short, a world turned right side up.
Come join us – it will be an experience you will not soon forget.