Is Our Milk Organic?

We are not USDA Organic™ certified. We are beyond “Organic” milk.

Liz says:

For starters, there are a bunch of fees to pay to get certified (application fee, annual renewal fee, assessment on annual production or sales, and inspection fees). Sure, the USDA does have a fee reimbursement of up to 75%, but there’s no telling that that’s what you’ll qualify for. You also have to get inspected, label everything as organic, not to mention I’m not even sure they’ll certify raw milk. 

I know people think organic is nice and good and “healthy” (and it’s definitely a higher standard for livestock care than normal), but I’ve seen one place where Horizon Organic keeps their cows on the Front Range, and it sure isn’t as pastoral as you’d think. Organic doesn’t mean that living conditions are ideal (or even particularly nice). The Horizon cows stand around on a big dirt pad except for 4 months out of the year when they actually get to be on pasture. For cattle, organic certification only requires a 120 day grazing season on pasture. The rest of their time can be on a big, ugly dirt lot just like any other large scale dairy. There’s also no antibiotic use allowed at all (even though they allow vaccines, go figure). If I had to guess, I’d say that they just cull any cows that get sick. For every one cow, most large dairies have a heifer or two waiting to replace her. I like my cows. I don’t want to kill one if she gets sick and I’m not allowed to treat her, and I don’t want to let her stay sick! That seems really unfair to the cow. There’s also a one year waiting period of organic raising before dairy cows can be considered organic, so it’s not like we would be able to certify right away even if we wanted to.

Jiayi says:

Like most government initiatives, the organic program is a big mess, and also like most government initiatives, it ends up being packaged up by large corporations with little of value remaining or even negative effects while being fronted by well-meaning but misguided idealists.

As a result, there are different types of “anti-organic”, and we hope you have the discernment on who is for real food integrity and who is just the front man for big corporations (of course they have the biggest part in mainstream food production now).

Some helpful posts for understanding my perspective from:

Joel Salatin


Craig Good