|In New Zealand, sharing the road with dairy cows headed toward|
heir milking station is not uncommon. Many dairy farms build
tunnels under the highway for their cows to cross between
paddocks and to the milking stations
New Zealand’s cows ruined my cruising provisioning strategy – their milk is just too good!
Over nearly 16,000 miles sailing over the last few years, most of it far, far away from the convenience of “fresh products” from a grocery store, most of my milk came from reconstituted powder. That suited my galley provisioning goal of taking up the least possible amount of boat space, at the lightest possible weight at an affordable price to meet our needs. As a sailor, the link between Anchor’s maritime name and New Zealand’s reputation for quality made it my favorite dairy brand.
While dogs still play an integral role in herding, humans ride ATVs
and specialized motorcycles like these instead of horses for
roundups. We’ve seen herding dogs on ATVs, too,
though not driving them.
Overall, most of my life, when not cruising, I’ve simply thought of milk as enjoyable beverage pulled off the shelf at the grocery store.
Then New Zealand arrival heralded our access to its very special terra firma-based milky way. At 30 million head, sheep versus 11 million may be more bountiful than bovines here in the Land of the Long White Cloud (aka New Zealand), though cows struck us as a more dominant force in our travels. Cows still outnumber people here nearly 4 to 1.
A view of a small milking trough station, before the herd saunters
in. This one holds 18 cows on each side, thus 36 at a time
are milked together.
Here in New Zealand you’ll hear the mainstream urban rock radio station ad for “cow processing” services. Highway stock effluent stations are more common than transport truck weigh stations. And then there’s all the signs for “Home Kill” – but that’s a topic for another post….
CSNBC refers to dairy farming as a an integral part of what makes the country an economic “rockstar.” New Zealand is the top dairy exporter accounting for around a third of the world’s trade.