Holiday celebrations don’t slow farm, TAD activity
By Darren Turley, TAD executive director
December is a time for faith, family and farming, or at least that is how I grew up in the dairy industry.
First and foremost is the reason for the season, the birth of our Lord and savior. Second is the time for family memories and spending quality time with loved ones. Third is the regular activities on a dairy, most importantly taking care of the cows. Even on Christmas, the job never ends for milking, feeding and, of course, animal care.
The holiday season was always stressful, even if milk prices were good. I always wanted everyone to have time to enjoy the holidays, no matter what job they had on the farm. Shifting hours and time off to allow everyone a chance to be home with their family and still get everything done on the farm was no small task.
The Texas Association of Dairymen understands all that you do for the industry, and how stressful it can be, as we too do not slow down in the month of December. The TAD board of directors held its regular meeting early in the month and then most directors participated in a spokesperson training held by DairyMax. Other industry leaders joined us, including Dr. Andy Schwartz, state veterinarian and executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission. The training prepared our board to talk more effectively about the Texas dairy industry to state lawmakers during visits to the Texas Capitol in February and April. But it also prepared them to talk about Texas dairy issues to the media, the public and others who want or need to learn more about what our dairy farmers do every day.
Also during December, TAD government relations consultants and staff make legislative visits – especially trying to meet newly elected members – and deliver TAD political action committee contributions before the fundraising deadline. On the communications front, we’ve produced materials for distribution to legislators, are updating our website and have designed a dairy recruitment flyer that you can download from our website and distribute at your local high school to attract new labor for your farm.
I also attended meetings with Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, Texas Animal Health Commission, Texas Farm Bureau and other groups.
TAD staff and consultants work for your industry no matter the month. All of us at the Texas Association of Dairymen wish you and your family all the best wishes this holiday season.