Trust is one of those traits; bonds; intangibles; values that are sometimes easily bestowed and other times forcibly revoked. As a dairy farmer you trust in fate and hard work that the seed will grow and the animals thrive. As an employer you trust that your employees share your values and will do what is right, and that you have made it clear what you value and what is right. As a consumer you trust that the food you depend upon, and pay good money for, is fresh and of the highest quality and comes from a farm that stewards the land and animals in the best way possible. All of these people make choices and decisions as to who deserves their trust and faith and only they can be accountable for those decisions. But this calf, this calf had no choice and yet she trusts us. She trusts us to ensure that her life is a good one, with every effort made to provide her with health, comfort and happiness. She trusts us implicitly to treat her as part of the family, and truth be told, at our farm, she will be….and sometimes be treated better than family. As a dairy farmer you trust that all your hard work will result in success; but there is no guarantee except that lack of hard work will surely fail to bring you success. As an employer you trust that you have set the bar high for those who work with you and for you; but there is no guarantee that this be true except that if you rely on trust alone you will be disappointed. As a consumer you trust that what you know, what you read and what you hear is all true; but there is no guarantee that what you see is reality nor what you want to believe is the best. And none of this means anything to this calf except that she trusts that her life will be a good one.
At the end of the day, when all the disturbing video has been watched over and over again; after all the interested parties have expressed their opinions, both experienced and inexperienced, knowledgeable or ignorant, hidden agenda or purely passionate, this calf trusts in the consumer to trust in the farmer and the farmer to instill trust in their employees to do what is right for her. Not what is popular, trendy, knee jerk, or emotional but what is right for her-which may be entirely different than what is prettiest for the consumer, easiest for the employee and employer, or what the farmer may be accustomed to.
As a dairy farmer, an employer, an employee and a consumer I say to this calf, “Trust in Me.”