The Milky Way: How One Kibbutz is Changing the Milk Industry
Crossposted from Haaretz
A series of inventions by a talented member of Afikim made the kibbutz a major player in the global dairy industry. Today, their computerized milking systems can be found in over 50 countries and will soon supply some 40% of Vietnam’s milk consumption.
“It’s a fairly trivial sort of love,” she says as she sinks down onto a faded sofa. It’s afternoon, outside the dairy, which is surrounded by endless groves of green banana trees, and Chen Weiss, freshly discharged from the army, is taking a little break.
“I arrived for the first milking at six in the morning,” she says, holding a raspberry drink in one hand and a pack of cigarettes in the other. “Cows are a very trivial thing to kibbutzniks,” she adds casually, pulling her hair back. “It’s a nice animal, very kind. It may look big but it’s really very gentle. We have almost 400 dairy cows here. In terms of size, our dairy is a little above average. Some kibbutzim have smaller dairies than we do, but there are also some that have 1,500-2,000 cows.”