I'd like to share the following (cut for length).
Dairying used to be an art. Each animal cared for individually, a quality product produced. The barn was whitewashed, equipment kept spotless, barns were a place of warmth, comfort and safety. Of course, we all remember plenty of slobs in the old days, with manure build up inside the milkhouse (never mind the barn), a cheese ring in the bulk tank, and a huge manure pile a few feet from the back door, but most farm families did a great job.
Any of us who have worked (or are working) on a large dairy know that the art is gone. Animals are "inputs," milking is like factory work, feed is pushed up an alley by a Bobcat and that's about it. Like people who live in cities, the cows almost never walk on soft ground. I got a job milking on a 420 cow dairy in college. There wasn't a pitchfork on the place. Or any jobs you could do with one. This isn't a slam against big farmers, either. A lot of them (especially their employees) really care about their animals and the milk they produce, but you know what I mean. It's not the same.
The article I linked above really has nothing to do with what I just wrote. But it got me thinking about this, and I wanted to say it for a long time.
The milk they produce today is the legacy of our work, our parents, and their parents before them. We bred those cattle, and set the standard of how milk should be produced. I think our milk supply is of pretty good quality, but it could be better, (especially lower somatic cell count tolerances). Today they do ok, but their work, or it's results, aren't the same.
It ain't art.