H243: Holy Cow!

Here is a story from Petaluma, CA, Sonoma County, that surprised me:

Dairy farm puts men to work, offers drug, alcohol rehabilitation.

By: SAMANTHA YOUNG - Associated Press
Birthing calves is one of the many chores the men do as part of an intensive 12-step therapy program that weaves the daily tasks of farm life into recovery.

Although the homeless account for just a fraction of the country's addicts, they are the least able to afford treatment and the ones often in need of the most medical help.

So unlike many treatment centers, the 315-acre dairy farm run by the San Francisco-based St. Anthony's Foundation has provided its services for free since 1954. In fact, only residents who have no income qualify for the program.

None of the men have medical insurance, most don't have a home and nearly all of their families have severed ties with them. [snip]

The dairy farm makes about $162,000 a year by selling more than 1,800 gallons of organic milk a day to help fund its treatment program, which costs about $600,000 a year, said Francis Aviani, a spokeswoman with St. Anthony Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides 11 clothing, housing, employment and rehabilitation programs for the San Francisco area's homeless. The rest of the farm's budget comes from donations and private grants.

The 315-acre dairy farm also plans to sell organic butter.

It boasts an organic vegetable garden and powers some of its buildings with a methane digester, which turns cow manure into electricity.
Dairies and dairy products are not getting much good press in this day and age. These things sounded like good things. If you know something different about this place, I’d really like to know. I am so very cynical these days of rampant corporate malfeasance.

I am passionate about yogurt, and that keeps me wedded to dairy. For this reason I hope that this article was a true reflection of a positive opportunity in farming.

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