During the 1950’s there were over 1,000 dairy herds in
Jersey. Now there are just 26 or so. That sort of change is dramatic but the general public knows very little about this farming business activity or how it is so economically fragile today.
Yet, the general public demands that Jersey must retain its “green fields” and that there should be pretty Jersey cows grazing in them – almost without any understanding of the harsh economic realities. There is still a nostalgic view that farming might be much as it was in the 1950s.
Producing milk is one thing but what is the real cost? Not just of the milk itself but the cost of denying the land use to others with equal or even better claims?
Jersey is to retain the “green countryside” – who shall pay for it? Can the “cultural icon” of the Jersey cow be preserved with public subsidies in the future or can dairying be self-supporting?
Here Jersey dairy farmer Paul Houzé speaks frankly in a three part interview about the past, present and future of dairy farming in this
He is optimistic that the
Jersey cow has a future although his own likely retirement is referred to among many other issues.
Vegetarian and Soya milk user Tom Gruchy thanks Paul Houzé for his giving his time and cooperation with this interview and for revealing some of the mysteries of the rural economy.
For some reason, the internal lighting was not to the camcorder’s entire liking or the recording skills were lacking so some images are a bit dark.