Premarin PMU mares are typically Belgian – Quarter Horses crosses. PMU stands for “pregnant mare urine,” which is the only function these mares are allowed to have. They are impregnated for the hormones that will be produced in their urine.
For most of their 11-month pregnancies, these horses are confined to stalls so small that they cannot turn around or take more than one step in any direction.
The animals must wear rubber urine-collection bags at all times, which causes chafing and lesions.
Once the foals are born, the horses are re-impregnated; this cycle continues for about 12 years.
Washington’s family dairy farmers are finding creative new ways to use technology to produce a higher quality milk at a lower cost.
That is particularly important now, with world dairy prices again sinking downward.
Our state’s dairy farmers also work to make the best use of dairy manure, while minimizing the farm’s impact on the environment.
Austin Dairy Farm near Oakville has been in the family for nearly 140 years. They are located just west of the southwest corner of Thurston County, right off Highway 12 at 320 Elma Gate Road.
Austin Farm produces certified organic milk for Organic Valley. They are proud to be a Washington Dairy Farmer’s “Dairy of Merit.”
In a move that would have astounded his grandparents, Jim Austin brought robotic milking to their farm, with the DeLaval automated milking machine. The video below features the Austin family and their farm, and explains how this dairy technology works.
Besides saving Austin Farm a lot of money in the long run, the machine makes for happier cows, a superior product, and a more sanitary operation.
Simple life, superfood diet of Lapland’s Sami people
Lapland is a cultural region that spans the arctic areas of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the northwest tip of mainland Russia.
Traditional Laplanders are called the Sami people. Many of them still live the way their ancestors did, herding reindeer that forage across the wide arctic expanse for lichens in the winter and green plants in the summer.
The Sami lifestyle is simple and peaceful. The diet is rich in an array of superfoods.
The Sami people rely on reindeer for their very existence. They eat reindeer meat, use the milk for cheese, and the skins for clothing, blankets, and shelter. They create tools and decorations from the bones and antlers.
The Sami also use reindeer as pack and harness animals. Even the Lapland police use reindeer! In arctic weather, reindeer are more reliable than motorized vehicles or other animals.
All reindeer are considered domesticated in Lapland. Reindeer hunting is illegal.
In this two minute video, a young Sami reindeer herder explains the connection he feels to his reindeer:
NASA has launched its own “Veggie Team.” Their goal is to develop ways for astronauts to grow their own fresh greenhouse produce while staying at the International Space Station, and other future out of this world locations.