Farmers just can't sit quietly and take this anymore

Melissa Marti
Dairy farmers Travis and Melissa Marti encourage farmers to stand with Fair Oaks against activists who have tried to give the entire dairy industry a black eye.

I debated commenting about the Fair Oaks Farms abuse video... Unless you have been living under a rock, you've seen posts or heard people talking about the absolutely horrible animal abuse video that was released from Fair Oaks last week. You've noticed that fairlife milk has been pulled from some of your favorite grocery stores. Some of you have even watched the video.

This whole situation has been a punch in the gut for dairy farmers everywhere. And I needed to say something. Farmers can't just sit quietly and take this.

Just like many farms (and businesses in every industry), we hire employees. We do our very best to ensure that we are hiring the best people we can—people who we can trust to care for our animals and our land with the utmost care. Like we would do if we could do it all ourselves. We hire people who have strong work ethic. People who are calm and patient around animals. People who are kind and will work well with others. We hire these people and we train them. We try to instill our values in them and give them all the support and tools they need to do a good job.

But at some point, we can't stand over their shoulders anymore. At some point, we have to trust that they are the right people for the job and that our animals and our land are safe in their care. At some point we have to believe that people are (mostly) good and we have to let them do their job.

But sometimes, people are not good. Sometimes people suck. The people in the video from Fair Oaks REALLY suck.

And make no mistake—there are sucky people in every industry. Not just in dairy farming. There are bad people working in daycares. There are bad teachers working in our schools. There are bad people working in nursing homes. There are bad priests and bad doctors and bad mechanics.

But just like we wouldn't condemn an entire hospital for the actions of a bad doctor on staff, or an entire school for the bad decisions of a teacher, we can't condemn an entire dairy industry (or even an entire farm) for the actions of bad employees.

And this situation is even more crooked than that—the activists who are supposedly so concerned about the welfare of animals participated in this abuse, filmed it, and then sat on the video until (coincidentally - or not...) June Dairy Month.

What they don't tell you is that other employees at Fair Oaks Farms reported these employees for abuse MONTHS ago and the employees were terminated immediately—long before anyone knew anything about the video.

Animals should not be abused—ever—and I hope that those responsible for the mistreatment of the animals in the video are prosecuted.

But please do not think that that video is representative of dairy farms everywhere—or even of THAT dairy farm. This was a calculated attack by bad people.

There have been several well-written responses to this video online, and I've included links below to a few of them. Please take a few minutes to read/watch them if you have any questions about the video or the fallout or what happens next.

In the meantime, our family stands with Fair Oaks and we will continue buying fairlife milk and other dairy products and supporting dairy farmers everywhere. We will not let the activists win.

Melissa Marti and her husband Travis Marti are third generation owners of a dairy farm in Vesper, Wis.

▪️Initial response from Fair Oaks Farms: https://bit.ly/2Kco2Y0

▪️Post by Dairy Carrie about hiring employees and the need for trust: https://bit.ly/2JXO2q7

▪️Farm Babe's take on animal activists: https://bit.ly/2ZhMISy

▪️Post from My Other More Exciting Self - highlighting the "other side" of the story:


▪️ Message from Dr. Mike McCloskey regarding changes being made at Fair Oaks Farms: https://bit.ly/2I9D7rd