Молоко, сыр и красивые телёночки / Milk, Cheese and Cute Baby Calves

Lev, calf, Russian dairy farm

Audio content: Dairy farmers and cheese producers showing off their very impressive operations
Video content: Interesting images of the countryside near Voronezh, large-scale Russian agriculture, dairy cattle, grain fields, milking systems, cheese factories

The video doesn’t allow embedding. Follow the link to watch the video at tvrain.com (no subscription needed)

With oil and other raw material prices weak, TV Rain decided to do a series on components of the Russian economy that are not based on the extraction of natural resources. They found some particularly interesting developments in the agricultural sector. The half-hour segment at the above link explores an impressive dairy cattle and cheese operation called Молвест (Molvest). The company’s operations are centered around the city of Voronezh, several hundred kilometers south of Moscow. Until recently, Molvest was only engaged in dairy processing: they purchased the milk itself from independent suppliers and turned it into finished products. But in 2012, faced with an ongoing milk deficit and unstable prices, the company decided to take a big leap into farming and become fully “vertically integrated.” From that point on, the company would raise the dairy cattle themselves, grow the feed for the cattle themselves, milk the cows themselves, and then turn the milk into cheese and yogurt at their existing processing plants. The result is the enormous and very up-to-date operation you’ll see in the video. Molvest’s decision turned out to be particularly fortuitous in the wake of the sanctions and counter-sanctions that appeared after the Russian annexation of Crimea. Sanctions currently limit the import of cheese into Russia, so there is increased demand for good domestic cheese. But the infrastructure you’ll see in the video is not cheap. The company leaders complain that they have to compete with low-priced products labeled as “cheese” but actually produced using vegetable oils.

The transcript below covers two segments. In the first, we visit the barn that houses newborn calves. When Molvest first entered the dairy cattle industry in 2012, the company imported a special breed from France that produces milk with protein and fat levels that are ideal for cheese production. The animals were very expensive and Molvest aspired to raise the cattle for themselves as soon as possible. They seem to have succeeded — you’ll see that many native Russian cows are being born every day on their farms. In the second featured segment, the TV Rain journalist visits the site where cows are milked by means of a fast and space-efficient system known as a “carousel.” The dairy cows walk into a stall on a moving carousel, and by the time they’ve traveled the whole circle the milking is done.

Language notes: You’ll see a couple words more than once. “Малыш” = “baby, little one.” “Корм” = “feed” (for animals) — recall the verb “кормить” = “to feed.” And a young cow, i.e a calf, is a “телёнок.” This is already a diminutive form, but if you want to make it even more diminutive-affectionate you can say “телёночек,” a form you’ll see in the transcript. Also, words for animal young tend to have atypical plural forms ending in -ата; “calves” is “телята.”

A few other interesting moments from the video:
– 2:30: The TV Rain journalist interviews the company leadership at a picturesque riverside spot — this gives you a glimpse of the southern Russian countryside
– 4:20: aerial view of the main cattle farm
– 5:35: the cows enjoy an automatic back scratching machine
– 10:00: overview of the site where huge amounts of grain are grown and mixed together into properly balanced feed
– 20:00: we visit the cheese factory

If this topic interests you, have a look at another video in the series focusing on a beef cattle operation that employs several American ranching experts. The video opens with a Russian-American rodeo that the company organized for their employees.

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Segment One: 6:50-9:10

The video doesn’t allow embedding. Follow the link to watch the video at tvrain.com (no subscription needed)

Ольга Гусева (помощник генерального директора по вопросам животноводства сельскохозяйственного предприятия «Новомарковское»): Это самое притягательное место на нашей ферме. Ясли. Здесь мы выращиваем малышей.

Лев Пархоменко (журналист телеканала “Дождь”): Какой это возраст?

Ольга: Здесь примерно месяц – полтора. Это телята от джерсейской породы.

Лев: Это они сюда попадают сразу?

Ольга: Телёночек рождается в родильном отделении, находится там первое двое суток и переезжает сюда.

Лев: Вот мы здесь идем уже, а они всё не кончаются.

Ольга: Да, Лев, на этом комплексе девять тысяч шестьсот голов малышей.

Лев: Девять тысяч шестьсот?! Это точно самый большой детский сад в стране.

Ольга: Я думаю, ежесуточно у нас прибывают малышей от десяти голов до семидесяти голов.

Лев: Семьдесят в день?

Ольга: Здесь восемьдесять с половиной тысяч мам, которые в течение года приносят каждая по теленочку. Представляете?

Лев: А это, из чего это, что такое?

Ольга: Это престартерный комбикорм.

Лев: Детское питание?

Ольга: Детское питание. Это корм специально для малышей.

Ольга: Выпойка молока у нас производится два раза в день, как раз сейчас, вот.

Лев: Ой, а пойдёмте посмотрим. Пойдёмте.

Ольга: Давайте посмотрим.

Ольга: Это наш молочный шато.

Лев: Молочный шато. Какое слово прекрасное! Представляю, как на заправке!

Ольга: Это сам отщёлкнется.

Лев: Так… Молоко теплое! Вот.  Эх! Так, ну, хорошо, сейчас тебе тоже налил.

Ольга: Сейчас мы пришли к самим маленьким телятам.

Лев: Ой, здесь все маленькие, правда.

Лев: Привет, малыш. Можно я ее покормлю? Она явно хочет есть.

Лев: Ого! Тихо, нет, это рука, не соска, подожди! Всё-таки очень люблю детей.


Segment Two: 16:05-17:05

Link to video at tvrain.com

Лев: А как это делать?

Лев: Страшно! Нет, не получается у меня!

Сотрудник фирмы: Посмотрите, как это делают.

Лев: Так, ага, то есть прямо с усилием можно, да? Есть! И последний, давай! Так хорошо.

Сотрудник: Теперь будьте добры вытереть!

Лев: Обязательно! Ну, вроде сухо.

Сотрудник: Обратите внимания, как подсоединяются доильные аппараты.

Лев: Ага, всё, понял, понял, понял. Так, оно уезжает, надо поторопиться. Есть! Есть!

Сотрудник: Нежнее, еще нежнее.

Лев: Хорошо. Последний… есть! Пошло!

Сотрудник: Браво!

Лев: Слушайте, ну в общем, это довольно легко и приятно, я бы сказал. Ну, как обычно это выглядит? Ведро поставил, сел, сгорбился, вот это вот — занимаешься физкльтурой!

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English Translation

Segment 1

Olga Gusieva (assistant to the general director of animal husbandry of the agricultural enterprise “Novomarkovskoe”): This is the most appealing place on our farm. The nursery. We raise the babies here.

Lev Parkhomenko (journalist of the TV channel “Rain”): What age is this?

Olga: Here, about 1-1.5 months. These are calves from the Jersey breed.

Lev: Do they end up here right away?

Olga: The little calf is born in the birthing section, is located there for the first 48 hours and then comes over here.

Lev: We’ve been walking here, and there’s still no end to them.

Olga: Yes, Lev, in this complex there are 9,600 “heads” of baby cattle.

Lev: 9,600?! This really is the largest kindergarten in the world.

Olga: I think, every day ten to seventy heads of baby cattle arrive here.

Lev: Seventy in a day?

Olga: Here there are 85,000 mothers, who each give birth to one baby calf in the course of a year. Can you imagine?

Lev: And this, what does this consist of, what is it?

Olga: That is “early starter combo-feed.”

Lev: Baby food?

Olga: Baby food. This is feed specifically for little ones.

Olga: The milk-feeding [lit. drinking of milk] happens twice a day. Right there it is now!

Lev: Oh, let’s go have a look. Let’s go.

Olga: Let’s go have a look.

Olga: This is our milk “chateau.”

Lev: A milk chateau. What a beautiful word! I get it [lit. I imagine], it’s like at a gas station.

Olga: It clicks off by itself.

Lev: All right… the milk is warm! There. All right, good, now I poured some for you too.

Olga: Now we’ve come to the smallest calves of all.

Lev: Wow, here they are all small, it’s true.

Lev: Hi, little one. Can I feed her? She clearly is hungry [lit. wants to eat].

Lev: Oh! Calm down, no, that’s a hand, not a nipple, wait a minute! After all I really do love children.


Segment Two: 16:05-17:05

Link to video at tvrain.com

Lev: And how does one do that?

Lev: It’s scary! No, it’s not working for me.

Company employee: Look how they do it.

Lev: So, uh-huh, so you can do it rather forcefully, right? There it is! And the last one, come on! There, that’s good.

Employee: Now, if you please, wipe it off!

Lev: Absolutely! Well, it seems to be dry.

Employee: Look [lit. turn your attention] at how the milking machine gets connected from below.

Lev: Uh-huh, that’s it, I got it. So… it’s moving away, I have to hurry up. Got it! Got it!

Employee: More gently, even more gently.

Lev: Good. The last one… got it! And it’s off / started!

Employee: Bravo!

Lev: Listen, well overall, that’s pretty easy and pleasant, I would say. Well, what does it usually look like? You put down a pail, sit down, hunch over, do like this — you get some exercise!

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