December 31, 2005

Stray Voltage Task Force

One of the best parts about Christmas is that my family always sends a package of gifts packed in crumpled up pages from the Owatonna People's Press. I carefully spread them flat and spend the holidays catching up on hometown petty crime, Dear Abby and advertisements. Beats comfort food hands down. Judging by the People's Mess, oldtime hometown pal Mark Woodrich is doing well for himself working at Gillespie Real Estate. And, the Somali soccer team in town recently won the southern MN regional championship.

I ran across a disturbing article the other day, and mark it down as yet another sign of the CGS. From the November 26 edition, Researchers ponder: 'What's killing the cows?':

Bernard, Roger and Russ Frederick moved their Highland Dairy operation to a new facility in 1998, and their apparently healthy cows began to die. The herd is now down to 330 cows, more than 200 fewer than the original number. The problem is apparently industry-wide and may be linked to something called stray voltage. The Dairy Industry Stray Voltage Task Force has now been formed of experts from around the upper midwest at the instigation of Fredericks, and Rick and Bunny Sommers of Sommertime Dairy.

The Fredericks had carefully planned their 1998 expansion. When they moved to the new facility they noted a decrease in milk production. 'It went downhill so fast it made our heads spin,' Bernard Frederick said. In addition they are losing two or three cows every week-- seemingly healthy cows that suddenly lose weight and die.

The Fredericks and some of the experts they have consulted believe there is some kind of electron force impacting these cows.

At the Highland Dairy, cows are not drinking water as they normally do. Experiments were set up in the barn to test the electric currents going through the cows when they drank water. The needle on the meter showed a current of 0.5 to 1.5 milliamp each time a cow drank from the water trough.

'Cows are wonderful creatures,' says Rick Sommers,' but they need to relax in order to produce milk.'


At January 09, 2006 10:44 PM , Anonymous Janie K said...

The OPP is TRULY an educational experience! Pete laughs himself silly everytime we go home and he needs to use it in his personal "morning library"

At January 11, 2006 11:44 PM , Blogger Annie said...

I didn't know that you knew Mark Woodrich. He has been organizing the coolest concerts in our new bandstand in Central Park featuring young bands. Some of it's punk and I don't prefer punk, but it's so much fun watching kids pursuing their passion.

At January 12, 2006 11:26 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Sure I know Woody! We were even roommates in the attic of the house on the SE corner of Snelling and Summit one summer. First remember him from 3d grade when we were together in a production of The Emporer's New Clothes. He was running a music store for awhile right next to the house on Selby we used to live in. Mom sent me an OPP article about Woody & the concerts-- a great use for his interest in music and the music business.

At March 04, 2006 6:22 AM , Blogger wood man said...

I am Woody, and I am so glad I found this. Matt I always think of you, and I I would like to keep in touch better. It's nice to know some people have the same great memories. Somehow I would up back here in Owatonna. I miss seeing your dad each week at Lion's Club and hope young Stan is at least still enjoying Portia's Piano playing. And I am not sure who Annie is, but Annie whoever you are, please introduce yourself when we have some more great concerts this summer. And Thank You for coming. It's really nice to know it is appreciated.
Thanks again.
The Emporer in Long Johns


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