Lights, action, AgDay
Oct 02, 2008
By Catherine Merlo
If you’re not used to appearing on camera, it’s easy to be nervous when the camera is focused on you.
That, at least, was my experience when AgDay, Farm Journal Media’s daily television show, videotaped here at World Dairy Expo yesterday and today.
Executive producer Wes Mills, managing editor and host Scott Kinrade, senior producer Don Green and videographer Rob Jones interviewed lots of people, including Dairy Today’s editor Jim Dickrell and me.
It’s a breeze for Jim to respond to questions about the dairy business, on or off camera. I don’t think there’s anything he doesn’t know about the
industry. I, on the other hand, have to study beforehand like a student preparing for exams.
|AgDay's Scott Kinrade (right) interviews Jim Dickrell of Dairy Today about the economic climate for dairy.
That’s partly because I know AgDay is ahead of the mainstream media on just about everything related to U.S. agriculture.
Case in point: Reporting on Cornell University’s extraordinary new research that shows that modern technology is allowing the dairy industry to reduce its carbon footprint while increasing milk production.
AgDay put the microphone in my hands yesterday and let me interview Dr. Jude Capper about the research. Capper is the British-born Ph.D. who’s the lead author of the study, “The Environmental Impact of rBST Use in Dairy Production” (www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0802446105v1).
Neither Dr. Capper nor I are used to being on camera. But once we began, her message eclipsed any nervousness.
“The modern practices and technologies that increase milk production reduce dairy’s carbon footprint and conserve resources,” Capper said.
The Cornell-Capper study shows that 10 more pounds of milk per cow (ostensibly from using rBST) reduce the carbon footprint of a gallon of milk by 9% a year. If just 15% of the U.S. dairy herd, or about 1 million cows, produced an average of 10 more pounds of milk per cow per day, that would mean:
- The need for farmland to grow crops could be decreased by 540,000 acres;
- Some 1.4 billion gallons of water needed for milk production could be saved;
- The amount of feed for animals could be reduced by 2.5 million tons;
- Gas and diesel use could be lowered by 4.3 million gallons;
- Manure output could be cut by 2.8 million tons;
- Total greenhouse gas emissions could diminish by 1.9 million tons.
The idea is that we don’t need more cows, just better ones, to help feed the world’s growing population. Modern technology is allowing dairy to do that while, at the same time, making a “green” contribution.
It may be a while, if ever, before you read or hear that in the mainstream media. But the Cornell-Capper research shows it’s a fact.
Take it from a scientist. And from AgDay.
AgDay’s 30-minute show, “A day at the World Dairy Expo,” will air Oct. 13-17 at 7:30 a.m. (CST) and Oct. 18 at 8 a.m. (CST) on Direct TV 225. AgDay airs five days a week on 140 stations plus Channel 225 on Direct TV. You can also view the show online at www.agweb.com/agday.