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Heart of Illinois Farm Report – Feb. 17

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Farm report

(HOI) -- Midwest dairy farmers are responding to comments made by actor Joaquin Phoenix at the Oscars.

During his speech, he said, "We feel entitled to artificially insiminate a cow and steal her baby."

One Wisconsin farmer told our sister station WKOW, eh doesn't take offense to the speech.

Dan Wegmueller says calves are separated from their mothers to prevent injury to the calf -- pointing to times he's seen calves smothered, knocked down, or exposed to cold conditions.

Wegmueller said there is some truth to the actor's criticisms about big dairy. That's why he's open to visitors at his operation.

"There's a need for education and outreach," said Wegmueller. "What's gonna take this farm into the next generation is by inviting consumers out and showing them what we do."

Wegmueller said he had to keep his farm small to keep it humane, but said he has had to make up for that income in other ways, by welcoming farm education and tours.

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