Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cutting your udder to spite your face

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of most cost-cutting measures. While they look good on paper, they don't necessarily help the company to actually perform better, in part due to their negative effect on company morale.

But I think I've seen a cost-cutting measure that defies belief. Guess what an agricultural college is selling? Its cows.

The fields and long red barns at the University of Vermont will soon house fewer cows as low milk prices, high costs and budget cuts have forced the university to sell its herd....

The sales are taking place despite growing enrollment in agriculture programs. The herds are mainly used for faculty research.

Now there's an economic justification for the move:

The University of Vermont plans to sell its 255 Holsteins and have faculty do their work on private farms that could be paid $20,000 a year for three years, said Tom Vogelmann, dean of UVM's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The farmers would benefit from the added income, while researchers would have access to more cows, possibly in more modern facilities.

Of course, perhaps the students may end up bypassing the University of Vermont altogether, and just getting a job at the private farms instead.
blog comments powered by Disqus