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Carabao Milking

"Drink Milk - It Does Your Body Good"! What could be a better way to bring change into our community in order to prosper, but to introduce a new influence on how we generate a commodity. Milk is one of the many expensive commodities in our country that most people are unable to afford as an important food in their daily eating routines. The inadequate milk intake causes malnutrition among our Filipino children. At young age, the most crucial elements for growth and development are calories, vitamins and minerals that are found in milk. Besides the calories that it provides, milk contain Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Phosphorus - the major nutrients that work together in building bones and teeth. With the petite structure that Filipinos have, these essential nutrients are what we need to change that. We need to provide our children with these nutrients to make them grow and develop properly.

Carabao Milking - OASIS

We have always believed that the genetic make up of a human body is unchangeable. However, new scientific research have proven that wrong. Consuming the important macro and micro nutrients adequately has been shown to change the body’s ability to grow and develop. Have you ever notice the difference of a Filipino child who grew up in the Philippines and the ones who grew up in the Western countries? You will notice that the bone structure of that Filipino child who grew up in the Western countries is much larger and taller than the those who remained in the Philippines. That is because of the lack of necessary nutrients for growth and development.

In most Western countries, the dairy industry has evolved from farmers who care for cows to produce just enough milk to feed their families, to raising cows to produce milk for their communities, to managing a herd of cows to produce milk for the province and country, to ultimately expanding the herd and farm operation to produce milk for export to other countries. For that matter, the dairy farming industry has become a strong, competitive and significant integral part of the those countries’ economy. However, the success of such industry also depended upon the efficient technology that are useful in quality production.

Milk is produced when a cow gives birth to a calf. Each "mother" cow produces about 7,300 liters of milk a day. Of that amount, only 255 liters are needed to sustain the life of a calf. Therefore, the surplus amount is for human consumption. The ability of a cow to produce ample amount of milk also depends on the cow’s health, therefore, cows must consume a lot of food and water for that matter. The milking of a cow varies from farmer to farmer. Some farmers milk their cows twice everyday of the year, but some farmers also milk their cows three times a day. Depending on the cow’s health, the cow’s ability to produce milk is what dictates farmer’s ability to succeed in this type of farming.

Many years ago, farmers milked their cows by hand. Today, the advancing science and technology enable the farmers to have a faster, easier and more sanitary way to milk the cows. Farmers in Western countries use machines to milk their cows. Mandated by regulatory standards, these farmers clean their cows before hooking up the cows into the milking machines. Each milking machine has four rubber suction cups that are hooked onto each cow’s teat. The milk are gently suctioned from the cow’s teats in much similar way the baby calf drinks the milk from the mother cow. The reported time to milk each cow is approximately five minutes using this type of technology. The new and modern milking machines are described to have automatic sensors that remove the machine when the milk flow has stopped. Stainless steel pipes take milk directly from the milking machine to a large refrigerated tank (bulk tank). After every milking, all the equipment used is thoroughly rinsed, washed and sanitized.

Good News for our people back home! Today, the Oroquieta Agro-Industrial School (OASIS) in Barangay Villaflor is producing Carabao milk for Misamis Occidental. So far, this project is in its early inception. There's a lot of work to be done. The OASIS has eight (8) Carabaos that are used for milking. These Carabaos are called the Murrah Carabao Buffalos. This milking project is influenced and developed by the Philippine Carabao Institute for milk producing purposes. However, the Carabaos were donated by the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Nueva Ecija. Presently, of the eight (8) Murrah Carabao Buffalos, only four (4) are progressively producing milk. They produce an average of ten (10) to fourteen (14) liters a day. Of course, because of lack of technology, our OASIS industrialists are using the "manual" milking way.

The success of this project will promote Oroquieta's industry which will potentially become an integral contribution to the local and provincial economy and community. Many Western countries who are engaged in this kind of industry are raking up yearly revenues as much as $700 million (US Dollars). Can you imagine this happening in Oroquieta? The whole province of Misamis Occidental will become more productive and thus, helping reduce the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in the long run. We are talking about stimulating our local economy by creating new infrastructure, purchasing more livestock feed and supplies, and of course, hiring skilled labor. We are talking about having our own ice cream, sour cream, yogurt, and of course, milk for everyone to become strong!

Of course, we need capital to push for more Carabao to use in this milking project. The average herd size of the milk farmers in the Western countries is 85,000 dairy cows to produce over 600 million liters of milk yearly. Where do we think Oroquieta should turn for help? Of course, to the outside! We know that this project's success depends so much on funding to increase the number of herd to produce more milk. What should we do about this Oroquietanians?

Ging Mutia

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Saturday, April 19, 2003 (Revised)