Condiments are important. They add flavor and dimension, and can make the most boring food new and exciting. For some people, condiments are a key ingredient and can take a meal from good to great. Popular favorites include a squirt of ketchup, a dash of salt, or a dip of ranch. But for Jim Reid's cows, it's pickles and chili peppers - served whole, please.
That's right, pickles and chili peppers! Even referred to as condiments by Reid and his animal nutritionist, the pickles and peppers are used as part of a dietary supplement for the more than 200 dairy cows on the Reid Dairy Farm in Jeddo, Mich.
"We started feeding them to the cows, and they love them!" said Reid, owner and part innovator of his cows' new diet. A dairy farmer since 1978, Reid said the idea for the relatively new nutrition plan came when a processing plant nearby asked if he had any use for their leftover pickles and peppers. Reid got together with his animal nutritionist and they realized the condiments would be great substitutes for nutritional supplements they were currently using. Fed whole, the condiments balance out the cows' diets specifically designed by the nutritionist to provide the most wholesome and nutritious food available.
As an environmentally verified farm through the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), this is just one more step the Reids have taken to reduce, reuse and recycle while caring for their cows and their land.