July 1997

Berkeley Farms

This morning I was innocently eating my cereal when my eye alit on the following paragraph printed on the milk carton:
[First ellipsis mine, second theirs]

“…all Berkeley Farms dairy cows are raised on the finest farms in the rolling hills of Marin and Sonoma Counties and the lush San Joaquin Valley…supervised closely by ranch personnel and dairy nutritionists who make sure they’re comfortable, well-fed, and in top condition.”

Supervised? Supervised closely?? When did dairies start “supervising” their herds? Ranch personnel??? What are “ranch personnel” doing on a dairy farm, and when did we start calling farm workers “personnel”? Also, is it really proper to describe as “lush” an area in which virtually every drop of water has to be piped in from the Sierra Nevada?

Setting the above questions aside, if I were not facing a deadline Thursday, I’d develop the above paragraph, describing more fully the duties of the ranch supervisory personnel, dairy nutritionists, aerobics instructors, and stress management counselors.

I remember the good old days when ranch personnel, in their colorful and fragrant costumes, were more focused on supervisory issues like the spring roundup for branding and castration.

“Git along, little dogie! You comfortable now?”

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