Tag Archives: neglect
Follow-up: Gary Conklin and Crowbar Ranch
In case you missed it, go read Crowbar the Cow for a recap regarding the story of workers at a dairy farm caught beating cows with crowbars, pitchforks and metal pipes.
Ever get stuck for a new post idea on your blog? On idea is to go back and check something you’ve written about and see if you can find anything new.
Gary Conklin. That’s a name that has been stuck (no pun intended) in my mind ever since I first heard about the story involving workers at a dairy farm attacking cows with crowbars and pitchforks. Ungh. Can we go even one day without constant reminders of what we humans are capable of?
Gary Conklin. The guy is the owner of Conklin Dairy Farms, a fourth generation family owned dairy in Plain City, Ohio.
Gary Conklin. Who, as seen on video footage, personally joins in on the abuse of dairy cattle.
A fourth generation family owned dairy farm that has landed in the lap of Gary Conklin. I’m sure pa, grandpa, and great-grandpa must all be very proud of their progeny.
I went looking for an update on this story. One of Conklin’s workers who was featured in 20 hours of video and charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty. Last I heard bail for this worker, Billy Joe Gregg, age 25, had been set at $100,000. Woot!
However, Conklin himself was also seen in the footage taking an active part in the abuse of dairy cattle. I was curious. What was his status?
Well, as far as I can tell, the man himself has so far avoided animal cruelty charged. What a crock of cow pies!
It seems, however, that something stinks at Conklin Dairy Farms besides animal cruelty. Since this story broke the state of Ohio has issued a “notice of violation” against Conklin Dairy Farms after dead cows were found “improperly disposed” in a open pit in violation of state law. Ohio law requires that bovine carcasses must be buried at least four feet underground. A subsequent visit by a state inspector found that the violation had been corrected.
Our hero, Gary Conklin, had previously petitioned the state Department of Agriculture to upgrade the dairy farm’s “milk rating” from Grade B. A milk rating of Grade B in Ohio is only sufficient for milk produced at the dairy to be made into cheese. (What a lovely and comforting thought for us cheese eaters!) A milk rating of Grade A is required in order to sell milk for “human consumption.” (That’s odd. I thought humans ate cheese, too.)
In other recent developments, our other hero, Billy Joe, appeared before a judge and said he’s a wounded Iraq war veteran and that he needed to be released from jail so he could “take care of” his own animals. Oh sweet irony! And, get this, he needs to get out of jail to continue working on his degree in fucking “law enforcement.” Jesus Christ! If this guy ever qualifies to be a police officer we’re going to have to fucking nuke the whole state!
Everyone knows you don’t put the wolf in charge of the hen house!
And it doesn’t stop there. We’ve learned even more about Billy Joe. He’s seen on the video taking guns into the milk house, firing them, and also bragged about stealing M-16 guns from the U.S. Army in Iraq.
If there was ever a guy who should never be a cop this is it. My own opinion is that if you are sick enough to actually get off on that sort of treatment of animals it is only a small step up to move on to the real thing. Know what I mean?
I’m hoping and praying for a happy ending to this sordid tale. That means Billy Joe kept away from animals and humans and Gary Conklin facing criminal charges for his own incidents of animal cruelty. He’s hoping Conklin’s “business owner” card doesn’t turn into a “get out of jail free” card. Please let there be justice!
Crowbar the Cow
Ah, humans. Is there anything they can’t do?
Today’s bit of gushing goodness comes to us from Plain City, Ohio, home of the world famous Conklin Dairy Farms. Of course, in this context, the word “gushing” means blood.
One of their employees, a wonderful young man named Billy Joe Gregg, Jr., age 25, was recently video taped by an animal welfare group. What, pray tell, did the videos show? Billy Joe and other workers doing things like:
- beating cows with crowbars.
- poking cows with pitchforks.
- striking cows with metal pipes.
- holding down newborn calves and stomping on their heads.
- wiring a cow’s nose to a metal bar while it was beaten.
- punching and striking cows in the face.
I often hear people say that when it comes to your job, you gotta love what you do. Billy Joe sure seems to have a certain sort of enthusiasm about his, eh? He’s already done more in his short life than I ever could. Imagine, he still has his whole life in front of him! Of course, I find the techniques described above a little odd for a dairy operation. Maybe this ain’t exactly what you’d call a modernized dairy.
Our good old boy Billy Joe was jailed and charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty. Each count has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.
Meanwhile, the good folks at Conklin Dairy Farms were quick to point out that this sort of behavior on the part of their employees is not condoned. They condemned what was shown on the 20 hours of raw video, fired Billy Joe, and said they were cooperating with the authorities.
“We will not condone animal abuse on our farm,” the dairy said in a statement released Wednesday. “We have launched our own internal investigation into this matter and will be conducting interviews with everyone on our farm who works with our animals.” (Source.)
How very touching. The dairy wants to maintain a certain public image after their employees were caught red-handed doing unspeakable things.
We have conducted an initial review of the video that the activist group has released. The video shows animal care that is clearly inconsistent with the high standards we set for our farm and its workers, and we find the specific mistreatment shown on the video to be reprehensible and unacceptable. (Source: Conklin Dairy Cattle Sales LLC media release.)
Eh? “High standards” must mean something different to the Conklins. Maybe it means management is required to be intoxicated all the time. Who the hell knows?
My simply question? How could the dairy possibly not have know what was going on? The total lack of supervision required for that level of ignorance is almost unimaginable. They don’t even know what their employees are doing? Pulverized cows are invisible??? Either that dairy is one of the most mismanaged operations in history or their public statements are full of shit.
But that’s the rub, isn’t it? Whether the dairy ownership knew about the behavior or not is utterly irrelevant. “We couldn’t be bothered to look” is the card that is too often played in these sorts of situations. Sorry, but failure to keep yourself informed about your own operation is not a valid defense. By owning and operating the dairy you are responsible whether you decided to keep yourself informed about your fucking employees or not.
Conklin Dairy Farms has their “high standards” or so they say. They allow their employees to engage in disgusting behavior, either with the organization’s implied consent or by their own indifference, then they quickly throw their employees under the bus as soon as they are caught in an attempt to salvage their own image. That’s classy.
Judging by some of the recent comments on Google, I think Conklin Dairy Farms may have a few problems in the days ahead. I call that justice.
Moral of the story: Never hire someone named “Billy Joe” and leave him alone with your cattle when it could destroy your entire operation and livlihood. Ooops.
Stick a pitchform in them. They are done!
Click here to see public comments regarding Conklin Dairy Farms from Google Maps
Text of media release:
DONNA MILLER – Media Statement – Conklin farm
CONKLIN DAIRY CATTLE SALES LLC
Media Statement – Conklin Dairy Cattle Sales LLC – May 25, 2010, 10:15pm
The following statement can be attributed to Gary Conklin of Conklin Dairy Cattle Sales LLC in Plain City, Ohio.
The statement is issued in response to a release of undercover video by an animal activist group.
“As fourth-generation farmers, our family takes the care of our cows and calves very seriously. We take equally seriously the allegations that have been made about our farm operation and the mistreatment of our animals.
“We have conducted an initial review of the video that the activist group has released. The video shows animal care that is clearly inconsistent with the high standards we set for our farm and its workers, and we find the specific mistreatment shown on the video to be reprehensible and unacceptable.
“We will not condone animal abuse on our farm. We have launched our own internal investigation into this matter and will be conducting interviews with everyone on our farm who works with our animals. We will immediately terminate any farm worker found to have willfully abused our cows and calves.
“We intend to cooperate fully with authorities in this situation. Further, our farm will institute immediate retraining of all those who remain on the farm and who work with our animals.
“The trust of our customers in the way we operate our farm, care for our herds and produce quality, safe milk is of critical importance to us, and we will work to maintain that trust as we address this issue.”