USDA: Keep Black And White Cows Separate

USDA Secretary Tim Vilsack says you can’t raise black cows in counties with hers of registered Charolaise, a breed of white cows, because even barbed wire is no match for a lovesick black bull. In recent public statements, Vilsack has said he does not want to have the fabric of rural America torn up over this and neighbors need to keep gene pools pure as well as coexist.

After issuing a 23,000-page report on how cows make love and the consequences of such activity, USDA’s Vilsack said one of the preferred options for allowing the peaceful coexistence of black and white cows is segregation. Vilsack is expected to say that black and white cows are equal in importance to US agriculture, but they must be kept separate. We need to do that voluntarily rather than have court-ordered segregation to protect the genetic purity of white cows, which make up less than two percent of the US herd.

Vilsack has called for a meeting of both black and white cow farmers to have a dialogue on the best way to resolve this by combining the best ideas from a diverse set of viewpoints.


Editor’s Note:

Versions of this piece have appeared a number of places under different signatures as a commentary on the recent decision by the USDA to recommend deregulation of genetically modified alfalfa. It is purported to come from The Onion, however I can find no record there.

Regardless, I think it is a clever commentary on the futility of separation of plant populations – domesticated and feral – to prevent cross-breeding. While alfalfa may not be as mobile as a cow, it has spread across the landscape in farming communities, turning up in ditches, fields, and lawns.

Photo credit: diponjan, used with permission under Creative Commons license.