For dairy herds to produce certified organic milk, they must be maintained on an organic dairy farm certified under the USDA National Organic Program’s rigorous standards. Animals must be managed organically for at least one year before their milk can be certified and labeled organic. During the transition, the cow’s feed – including pasture during the grazing season – must be certified organic.
Organic cows cannot be treated with any antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones (rBGH or rBST). And, the feed and pasture must be organic, with dairy cows receiving at least 30% of their dry matter intake from pasture during the grazing season, which cannot be less than 120 days. At Aurora Organic Dairy, we focus on preventing illness and disease (to avoid illness and minimize treatment), and maintaining a high level of cleanliness throughout our facilities to help ensure the herds stay healthy.
For crops and pasture to be certified organic, the land must undergo a three-year transition period. During this time, farms cannot use substances prohibited by the USDA National Organic Program, including synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers. Additionally, organic crops cannot come from genetically modified seed stock (GMO).
Once certified organic, farms manage soil fertility using cultivation practices, crop rotations and compost. Crop pests, weeds and diseases are controlled with physical, mechanical and biological measures that are compliant with the organic regulations.
Feed that is certified organic is produced without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers. No toxic sewage sludge. No GMO seed stock or GMO treated seed is allowed.
Organic livestock receive at least 30% of their dry matter intake from organic certified pasture during the grazing season, which cannot be less than 120 days
Organic cows consume organic feed and pasture. They are never treated with antibiotics and are never given synthetic growth hormones, or other unapproved substances.