Woods: Grass-fed dairy products really are better – Lake Geneva Regional News

No doubt you’ve seen the words “grass-fed” when reading about dairy products in food magazines, on television and maybe even on labels in your local grocery store, but does it really make a difference?

Yes, it does.

Grass-fed dairy products are better both for you and the cows.

A cow’s system is developed to digest grasses, not grain. On most large conventional dairy farms, cows eat an unnatural diet based on corn and soy rather than fresh pasture and dried grasses. Some large-scale farms even add by-products from the production of human food like candy, bakery, pasta and beer.

The USDA and Cornell University discovered that when fed an unnatural diet, the cows’ stomachs become more acidic, throwing their gut out of balance and making them more vulnerable to diseases like E. coli, which can, in turn, survive the acidity of human stomachs and cause intestinal illness.

According to Prevention Magazine, grass-fed dairy products contain a bigger diversity of nutrients, including vitamins A, D and B12. And eating whole milk dairy products from grass-fed cows is healthy for your heart.

Grass-fed milk has up to five times more CLA, a healthy fat found in the meat and milk of grazing animals, which is then stored in our tissues. A study from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that “keeping Bessy on grass could prevent more heart attacks in people than putting them on expensive drugs with all their side effects.”

So start noticing those labels next time you do your grocery shopping. Organic Valley has a new line of dairy products called Grassmilk. Due to the subtle seasonal changes in pasture, they say this is “milk as it was meant to be.”

Kerrygold cheese, while it is still imported from Ireland and available in your local store, is made from cows raised on grass.

In Wisconsin, award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese from Uplands Cheese in Dodgeville is only made from their milk when the cows are on pasture.

And cheeses from Brunkow Cheese Co-op in Darlington and Highfield Farm in Walworth are all made from cows raised on fresh pasture and dried grasses. Healthier for you, healthier for the cows, healthier for the environment.


The calendar says summer even if the weather does not — but we are all looking for lighter fare at this time of year. A fun finger-food idea can be inspired by your favorite sandwich and salad combinations. Small cubes of meat and cheese, alternated with olives, vegetables and cubes of a sturdy crusty bread, can be a light meal or snack easily toted to the beach, boat, or backyard.

Use toothpicks, small cocktail skewers, or appetizer picks to assemble some interesting combinations. You can also peruse the olive and salad bars at your local market to find ready cut and marinated vegetables. Cubes of sausage, cheese, olives and jarred pepperoncini will remind you of your favorite sub sandwich, while fresh mozzarella, tomato and a basil leaf will taste like a mini-Caprese salad. And if you like that sweet-salty combo, you can’t go wrong with a date stuffed with your favorite blue cheese, skewered with a small slice of ham or prosciutto.

Terry and Denise Woods are owners and cheesemakers at Highfield Farm Creamery in Walworth on State Line Road. If you have a question you’d like answered in this column, please send it to Info@HighfieldFarm.com or call 262-275-3027.

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State officials, protesters head to Westby creamery – La Crosse Tribune

State officials and business leaders visited a local creamery Monday to celebrate its production accomplishments.

Westby Creamery Cooperative began in 1903 and is the recipient of many accolades for its products – including its award-winning cheeses. And that’s what prompted the visit by government and business leaders, including the secretary of Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The meeting was part of the “Wisconsin Cheese Day” tour. State legislators voted cheese as Wisconsin’s official dairy product earlier this year.

Ben Brancel added another trophy to the Westby Cooperative’s shelf − a signed plaque from Gov. Scott Walker congratulating the co-op on its recent expansion and history of success.

“Your ability to produce high-quality products is pretty impressive,” Brancel said to members of the cooperative’s directory board and company employees.

Westby Creamery recently increased its production capacity and took on more than 50 new employees. Almost 300 farms contribute to the company’s supply of raw dairy, which is turned into value-added products like cheese, yogurt and sour cream.

The majority of the cooperative’s dairies operate with about 60 cows per farm, according to the company.

Brancel said Wisconsin’s dairy industry remains a cornerstone of the state’s economy, but it’s under threat from cheaper, cut-rate milk from out-of-state, undermining Wisconsin’s farmers.

About half a dozen protesters stood outside the creamery as business and state officials met inside. They held signs to picket against Republican Walker’s administration and treatment of small farms.

Protest organizers said Walker is allied to industrial farm industry through administrative policy, driving smaller farms out of business. Walker was not at the event.

When asked about alleged favoritism, Brancel said he has heard the concerns but isn’t convinced of their validity. He said Wisconsin needs the large farms to meet production quotas, as well as smaller farms to bolster the artisan markets.

“I have yet to find the law that gives deference (to industrial farms),” Brancel said when questioned during the meeting.

Alicia Leinberger, organizer with Our Wisconsin Revolution, helped direct protesters. She said the protest wasn’t directed at the Westby Creamery – one picketer even held a sign in support of the local cooperative.

Instead, Leinberger said, frustration was aimed toward the statehouse in Madison.

Leinberger alleges Walker is “bought” by the highest bidder − in this case, she said, the highest bidder is the industrial farm lobby. Small farms need help but aren’t receiving it, Leinberger said, and large operations get breaks from economy-of-scale and what she believes are policy gifts.

She said there are ways to support small farms via new legislation − including an introduction of labeling laws similar to the branding on organic products.

“I would like to see a policy initiative that distinguishes products from a small family farm and large dairy farms,” Leinberger said. “I think people would be willing to pay an extra 20 cents a gallon to help support small farms.”

Rep. Lee Nerison, R-Westby, attended the meeting. When asked if he would support a bill to distinguish large and small dairy farm products, Nerison was noncommittal, saying he would need to read the bill’s language to make a determination.

The meeting was closed to the public.

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Dairy: Is it good or bad for you? – Medical News Today

Table of dairy products
Research has highlighted many potential benefits and risks associated with dairy consumption.
Dairy is a controversial and confusing food group. Health organizations promote dairy as vital for improved bone health, yet other experts disagree and hail dairy as detrimental to health. Who is correct? Is dairy good or bad for your health? We examine the facts.

What do government health guidelines say? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food MyPlate guidelines, to get all the nutrients you need from your diet, healthy food and beverage choices should be made from all five food groups, including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy.

The dairy food group consists of all fluid milk products and many foods that are made from milk. The USDA recommend that food choices from the dairy group should retain their calcium content and be low-fat or fat-free. Fat in milk, yogurt, and cheese that is not low-fat or fat-free will count toward your limit of calories from saturated fats.

While calcium-fortified soymilk is included as part of the dairy group, food products such as butter, cream, sour cream, and cream cheese are not included due to their low calcium content.

Daily dairy recommendations depend on your age. Children 2-3 years old require two cups of dairy per day, 4-8 year-olds need 2.5 cups per day, and three cups per day are recommended for age 9 and upward.

For people who do not consume dairy products, the USDA mention the following foods to contribute toward calcium intake: kale leaves, calcium-fortified juices, breads, cereals, rice or almond milk, canned fish, soybeans, other soy foods, such as tofu, soy yogurt, and tempeh, and some leafy greens including collard and turnip greens, kale, and bok choy.

They point out that the amount of calcium that is absorbed from these foods varies.

MyPlate vs. Healthy Eating Plate

The USDA developed the MyPlate nutrition guide in 2011 as a replacement for their MyPyramid that was used for 19 years.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health state that while the USDA MyPlate has been revised to reflect some key findings in nutritional scientific research, it does not offer a complete picture of basic nutrition advice.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health created the Healthy Eating Plate to address the deficiencies they identified in the USDA’s MyPlate.

One major alteration to the Healthy Eating Plate compared with MyPlate is the replacement of the dairy glass with a glass of water. The Healthy Eating Plate recommends drinking water, tea, or coffee and limiting dairy to one to two servings per day, since they say that high intakes are associated with a greater risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer.

MyPlate recommends dairy with every meal to protect against osteoporosis. However, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health report that there is little to no evidence to support this statement and considerable evidence that too high an intake of dairy can be harmful.

Nutrients in milk

Milk is a good source of calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.

Table of calcium-containing foods
Milk is an important source of calcium and may help maintain and improve bone health.

The USDA report that dairy products are the primary source of calcium in the American diet. They also say that calcium helps to build bones and teeth, maintain bone mass, improve bone health, decrease the risk of osteoporosis and, what is more, diets that have an intake of three cups of dairy products per day can improve bone mass.

Furthermore, they note that dairy intake is particularly important to bone health during childhood and adolescence – a time when bone mass is being built.

Potassium in milk may help with maintaining blood pressure. Vitamin D helps the body maintain the correct calcium and phosphorous levels, which, in turn, contributes to building and maintaining bones. Dairy intake is also associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and lower blood pressure.

The USDA highlight that it is important to choose low-fat or fat-free foods from the dairy group because foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol have adverse health implications. They say that diets high in saturated fats raise “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. High LDL cholesterol increases the risk for coronary heart disease. Whole milk and many dairy products are high in saturated fat.

To help keep blood cholesterol levels healthy, the USDA recommend limiting the intake of foods high in saturated fat.

In summary, government guidelines say that milk is rich in nutrients. Calcium-rich low-fat or fat-free dairy products are essential for bone health, heart health, and type 2 diabetes, but full-fat dairy increases the risk for coronary heart disease. All sounds simple enough. So where does the controversy come in?

Is eating dairy ‘natural’?

It is often argued that dairy products should not be consumed since it is not “natural” to do so.

Cow’s milk is designed to provide all the protein, micronutrients, and fatty acids that calves need to grow in the same way that breast milk is designed to nurture human babies.

Not only are humans the only species that consumes milk as adults, but we are also the only species that drinks milk from other animals. Humans are not calves, and they have no need to grow, so why drink milk? Quite a convincing argument.

Dairy does not appear to be essential for humans from an evolutionary perspective and was not consumed until after the agricultural revolution. However, in some parts of the world, dairy has been consumed for thousands of years, and research has shown that genes have altered in humans to accommodate dairy consumption.

While consuming dairy may not have once been natural for humans, the evidence that shows that we have genetically adapted to eat dairy indicates that it may now be natural for us to eat and drink it.

Lactose intolerance

Another argument against dairy consumption is that around 75 percent of the world’s population and about 25 percent of the people in the U.S. lose their ability to produce digestive lactase enzymes sometime after weaning.

Lactase enzymes are present in infants and young children to help them break down and digest lactose – a sugar present in milk. A lack of lactase enzymes means that lactose cannot be split into glucose and galactose for absorption into the bloodstream, which results in lactose intolerance.

After eating lactose-containing dairy products, people who are lactose intolerant experience abdominal bloating, pain, nausea, flatulence, and diarrhea. Some lactose intolerant individuals can eat fermented dairy, such as yogurt, or high-fat, dairy like butter.

Most people of Northern European ancestry can digest lactose with no problems whatsoever.

Full-fat dairy and cardiovascular disease

The USDA guidelines and conventional wisdom dictate that full-fat dairy increases the risk of heart disease due to its high saturated fat content.

man experiencing a heart attack
Research investigating the link between dairy consumption and heart disease is conflicting.

The theory behind this idea is that saturated fat raises levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, LDL cholesterol then lodges in the arteries, which causes atherosclerosis and eventually, heart disease. However, despite it being a dietary recommendation, this theory has never been proven and has been debunked in recent years.

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and a meta-analysis published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no link between dietary saturated fat and an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.

A study that used data from the Nurses’ Health Study – a long-term epidemiological study in the U.S. examining risk factors for major chronic disease in women – found that high intake of dairy fat is connected with a greater risk of coronary heart disease.

However, other studies have shown that full-fat dairy may protect against heart disease and stroke.

For example, research examining 10 studies that included full-fat dairy consumption showed that drinking milk might be associated with “a small but worthwhile reduction in heart disease and stroke risk.”

In grass-fed cows, full-fat dairy has been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. One study indicated that people who consumed the most full-fat dairy had a 69 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death than individuals who consumed the least.

Research examining the role of dairy in heart disease is conflicting. However, heart disease risk seems to be significantly lower when consuming full-fat dairy in countries with grass-fed cows.

Does dairy benefit bone health?

Most health organization guidelines recommend an intake of two to three servings of dairy every day to ensure adequate calcium for bone health.

osteoporosis bones
Dairy intake may increase bone density and prevent age-related bone loss and osteoporosis.

Some experts disagree with these guidelines because countries with higher dairy consumption have higher rates of osteoporosis than countries with lower intakes of dairy. However, it has to be noted that dairy consumption is not the only difference between these countries and does not conclude that dairy causes osteoporosis.

Two observational studies are often cited in the argument against consuming milk for bone health. The first study suggests that consumption of dairy products – particularly at the age of 20 years – is associated with a greater risk of hip fracture in old age. The second study found no evidence that intake of milk or calcium protects against hip or forearm fractures.

However, numerous studies support the benefits of dairy consumption for bone health. Research indicates that consuming dairy increases bone density and may prevent age-related bone loss and osteoporosis.

Randomized controlled trials are considered to be more reliable than observational studies and have shown in every age group that dairy improves bone health.

Dairy and calcium consumption leads to increased bone growth in children, decreases bone loss in adults, and improves bone density and lowers fracture risk in seniors.

Other than calcium, dairy provides other nutrients that are beneficial to bone health, such as protein and phosphorous, and Vitamin K-2 in full-fat dairy from grass-fed cows. Vitamin K-2 is a fat-soluble vitamin and is not present in low-fat and fat-free varieties of dairy products. Vitamin K-2 helps to regulate calcium metabolism, is vital for bone health, and may prevent heart disease.

Other conditions associated with dairy

Dairy has been linked to the development and prevention of many conditions and appears to cause and cure various diseases simultaneously. We check out the evidence behind these claims.


diabetes concept image
Evidence suggests that dairy consumption lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dairy products, and full-fat dairy products in particular, might be avoided due to concerns that these foods are fattening and may lead to obesity.

However, a study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that children who drink whole milk are leaner and have higher levels of vitamin D than those who drink the low-fat or skimmed varieties.

Type 2 diabetes

While flavored milk should be avoided with diabetes, there is no reason that people with diabetes should not consume dairy products.

In fact, research by Dr. Ulrika Ericson, of the Lund University Diabetes Center in Malmö, Sweden, and colleagues found that people who consumed the highest amounts of high-fat dairy products had a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than individuals who consumed the least amount of dairy per day.

Harvard University found that teenagers who drink milk are 43 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes as adults compared with non-milk drinkers.

Prostate cancer

Some studies have found that a high dairy intake is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. One study reported that having higher intake of dairy increased the risk of prostate cancer by 32 percent. This greater risk may be linked to calcium levels.

In contrast, a study published in the British Journal of Cancer does not support the theory that high calcium intake increases the risk of prostate cancer.

Parkinson’s disease

Katherine C. Hughes, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and collaborators have found an association between consuming at least three servings of low-fat dairy a day and risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

“The results provide evidence of a modest increased risk of Parkinson’s with greater consumption of low-fat dairy products. Such dairy products, which are widely consumed, could potentially be a modifiable risk factor for the disease,” said Hughes.

The study authors stress that the findings do not mean that dairy products cause Parkinson’s disease, they just show a link between the two.


Opting for low-fat dairy rather than full-fat dairy reduces the risk of depression, according to Prof. Ryoichi Nagatomi, of Tohoku University in Japan, and team.

Adults who consumed low-fat milk and yogurt between one and four times per week were less likely to experience depression symptoms than those who reported no dairy consumption.

Brain health

People with higher intakes of dairy products have been shown to score significantly higher on memory and brain function tests than individuals who drink little or no milk.

The A2 type of beta-casein protein contained in cow’s milk is suggested to increase the body’s defenses against neurodegenerative diseases, pancreatitis, and cancer by raising an essential antioxidant in the body.

The jury is out on whether dairy is good or bad for you; the arguments for and against are ongoing, and the health effects vary between individuals. However, for the most part, evidence shows that dairy consumption has many benefits.

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Study: Eating Low-Fat Dairy Products Raises Parkinson's Risk – CBS DFW

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Low-fat dairy products — such as frozen yogurt — are shown to raise the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Harvard University’s Chan School of Public Health.

The study, published in Neurology, says that the risk of developing Parkinson’s for those who consume three or more servings of low-fat dairy products of a day is raised, while those consuming one or less servings per day have a lower risk of developing the disease.

While the differences aren’t huge, and the overall risk of a person getting the disease is slim, there’s still a tangible connection between low-fat dairy products and the illness.

The difference, per the study, is that people who consumed at least three servings of low-fat dairy each day were “34 percent more likely to suffer from Parkinson’s than people who have less than one serving a day.”

Still, people who fall into that group’s overall chance of developing Parkinson’s is just a small 1 percent compared to 0.6 percent for those who have one or fewer servings of low-fat dairy products a day.

“Our study is the largest analysis of dairy and Parkinson’s to date,” said Katherine Hughes, author of the study, in a press release. “The results provide evidence of a modest increased risk of Parkinson’s with greater consumption of low-fat dairy products. Such dairy products, which are widely consumed, could potentially be a modifiable risk factor for the disease.”

For the study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 130,000 people over 25 years. The researchers strove to draw connections from Parkinson’s to what the participants were consuming regularly, and it was found that low-fat dairy products had the strongest link.

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Dairy Products Good Dietary Source of Types of Vitamin K – TheCattleSite


Dairy Products Good Dietary Source of Types of Vitamin K

05 June 2017

US – Vitamin K, with its multiple forms, is among the lesser known nutrients. Now, new research from scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University sheds new light on the vitamin and its significant presence in some dairy products available in the United States.

In the study, published 1 June in Current Developments in Nutrition, researchers quantified the activity of two natural forms of vitamin K in dairy products of various fat contents and found that common US dairy items, including milks, yogurts and cheeses, contain appreciable amounts of multiple forms of vitamin K. Vitamin concentrations varied by fat content.

Vitamin K, which helps the blood to clot, is most commonly thought to come from leafy greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli. In fact, dietary sources of vitamin K are found in two natural forms: phylloquinone (PK, or vitamin K1), which is widely distributed through plant-based foods, and menaquinones (MK, or vitamin K2), which appear to be primarily in animal products and fermented foods. Almost all MK forms are also produced by bacteria in the human gut. Not much is known about MK amounts in US dairy products.

“Dairy foods contain minute amounts of PK, the best known of the vitamin K forms, and so dairy is not commonly considered a rich dietary source for this nutrient. However, when it comes to MK forms, we found that dairy items already found in many peoples’ refrigerators are indeed a good dietary source for vitamin K,” said Xueyan Fu, PhD, first and corresponding author and scientist in the Vitamin K Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA.

Guidelines for adequate vitamin K intake are based only on PK intake without consideration for other forms of vitamin K. MK differ from PK in structure in that they are compounds with different numbers of isoprenoid units in the side chain, designated as MK4 through MK13. Which forms of MK are present reflects which bacteria might be in the dairy products. Lactic acid bacteria, for example, are widely used in dairy and fermented foods.

To understand the presence of MK and PK in dairy products, the researchers used 50 nationally collected dairy samples provided by the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory and 148 dairy samples purchased in 2016 from Boston area retail outlets. The products were divided into categories based on dairy types and fat content: milks, yogurts, Greek yogurts, kefirs, creams, processed cheeses, fresh cheeses, blue cheeses, soft cheeses, semi-soft cheeses, and hard cheeses. The effect of fat content on total vitamin K in all forms was compared using a two-sample T-test. The vitamin K content of cream products, for which the researchers had a smaller sample size, was analyzed using a general linear model, with heavy cream as the reference group.

Among the findings:

  • All full-fat dairy products contained appreciable amounts of MK, primarily in the forms of MK9, MK10 and MK11. Combined, these three forms of MK accounted for approximately 90 per cent of total vitamin K present in the foods tested.
  • In cheeses, the total vitamin K content varied by type, with soft cheese having the highest concentration, followed by blue cheese, semi-soft cheese, and hard cheese. All of the cheeses contained MK9, MK10 and MK11, and modest amounts of PK, MK4, MK7, MK8 and MK12. Little MK5, MK6 or MK13 was measured in the majority of cheeses.
  • In milk, the vitamin K concentrations varied by fat content; both total vitamin K and individual MK concentrations in full-fat milk were significantly higher than in 2 per cent milk. PK was only detected in full-fat milk. Only MK9-11 were detected in milk.
  • In yogurts, full-fat regular and Greek yogurts exhibited similar vitamin K concentrations as in full-fat milk; neither MK nor PK were detected in fat-free yogurt.

“Estimated intakes of PK and MK in dairy-producing countries in Western Europe suggest that between 10 and 25 per cent of total vitamin K intake are provided by MK, and primarily from dairy sources. Additionally, observational data from Europe suggest that MK from dairy products have a stronger association with heart health benefits compared with PK intakes. This data from other countries highlights the need to analyze MK in commonly consumed foods in the US,” said Sarah L. Booth, PhD, last author on the study.

Dr Booth is senior scientist and director of the Vitamin K Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA, interim director of the USDA HNRCA, and professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Additional research is needed to determine the role of microbes used in production of dairy products, and their impact on MK content. The researchers also say there is a need to determine the relative bioavailability of all MK forms given their abundance in the US diet.

The researchers acknowledge limitations of the study, including the reliance on food labels for fat content instead of direct measurement of fat content. Additionally, whereas the dairy product samples obtained from the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory were geographically representative of the US diet, those purchased in the Boston region were not. However, items purchased locally were selected from retail outlets with national representation.

TheCattleSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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New Report: Plant-based Alternatives to Dairy Products Market Remains Niche But Gaining Steam – The National Law Review

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition…

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Despite reporting, dairy's product is certifiably organic – Columbia Daily Tribune

At Aurora Organic Dairy, we care a great deal about organic agriculture, about the more than 650 dedicated men and women who call Aurora home, and about consumers who have come to trust the many benefits of organic.

Contrary to a recent article in The Washington Post, reprinted May 3 in the Tribune, Aurora Organic Dairy’s cows not only graze on pasture, but we meet and exceed the grazing requirements for organic certification of our milk. We maintain meticulous daily records, which are audited annually and prove the nutrition our cows receive from pasture and other certified organic feed sources.

At our Colorado High Plains farm alone, our pastures annually produce more than 40 million pounds of feed on more than 4,000 acres. We invest significant resources in land and irrigation. Our soil and crop scientists, and other experts, study our pastures and develop annual plans that ensure the sustainability of the land, and the nutrition and health of our cows.

Many facts we provided to The Washington Post were omitted from the story:

• The grazing requirements of the National Organic Program (NOP) are clear and enable national organic production across many different regions. Producers must achieve at least 30% dry matter intake from grazing for 120 days or more. We exceed these requirements of the organic pasture rule.

• Organic Certifying Agents are independent, third-party auditors, accredited by the USDA. To use the USDA organic label on our products, we must satisfy their expectations to certify production in accordance with the rules of the NOP.

• The level of Essential Fatty Acids in milk is not a requirement of organic certification, nor does it prove a dairy farmer’s grazing practices. Such a test is affected by numerous factors, including the type of pasture grasses, climate, other feed inputs and animal genetics.

• We do not damage our soils or subject our animals to harm from poor nutrition by grazing them when the pastures have been fully grazed. This is also a requirement of the organic rules.

• All organic dairies do not resemble each other and are not managed the same. They vary in scale, climates and pastures. Regardless, to be organic they must meet the regulations and be properly certified.

Regrettably, the reporter declined our invitation to visit our farms. Had he taken this opportunity, he would have seen the more than 4,000 acres of pastures our herds graze. He would have understood how our cows are moved to and from pasture during the grazing season, and the abundant nutrition our herds receive from pasture would have been obvious.

At Aurora Organic Dairy, we produce milk under valid organic certifications, which means we provide our cows with feed that is produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. We produce our milk without the use of GMOs, antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones. We are committed to our values, which include being a 100% organic company and having the highest standards of animal welfare.

Marc Peperzak is founder and CEO of Aurora Organic Dairy.

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The Rise Fund Injects $50M Into Indian Dairy Products Co. – Law360 (subscription)

Law360, New York (May 4, 2017, 4:24 PM EDT) — South Indian fresh dairy product supplier Dodla Dairy Ltd. has received a $50 million capital injection from an affiliate of private equity giant TPG Capital called The Rise Fund, the companies said on Thursday.

The investment is subject to regulatory approval, according to a statement. It marks the first food and agriculture investment made by The Rise Fund, and is also the fund’s first investment in India.

The Rise Fund is an investment vehicle created by TPG Growth founder and managing partner Bill McGlashan; U2 lead…

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Collins backs level playing field for US dairy products – The Batavian

Representative Chris Collins (NY-27) today led a bipartisan letter sent to President Trump applauding the president’s acknowledgements of Canada’s protectionist trade policies related to dairy products and advocating for swift action to ensure Canada upholds its trade agreements.

“President Trump campaigned on putting America first, and protecting American jobs,” Collins said. “Today’s letter highlights how vital the U.S. dairy industry is to Western New York and dairy producing regions across the country. The U.S. dairy industry supports billions of dollars in exports and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

“Unfortunately, due to unfair competitive practices by Canada, we must take action to ensure our dairy products will be able to compete on a level playing field. I am glad President Trump has recognized how important this issue is to hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans, and I will continue working with my colleagues to protect the U.S. dairy industry.”

The letter which 68 lawmakers signed on to was also co-led by Representatives Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Ron Kind (WI-03), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), and Peter Welch (VT-AL).

The letter details Canadian trade practices that “may violate Canada’s existing trade commitments to the United States by effectively discouraging U.S. dairy exports to Canada.” It also reinforces that “our districts and states rely on the jobs the dairy industry provides and cannot afford further protectionist policies from our northern neighbor.”

Full text of the letter along with signatories can be seen here and full text can be read below.

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Cuomo calls on POTUS to fight Canadian dairy pricing; Trump vows action – WatertownDailyTimes.com



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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is once again targeting Canadian dairy pricing programs that he and other lawmakers say hurt dairy farmers in New York.

The governor recently joined Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in writing a letter to President Donald J. Trump asking him to take action against Canada for its dairy pricing program, which limits the amount of dairy products exported across the northern border.

The specific program in question is the National Ingredients Strategy, a type of pricing program that gives incentives for Canadian dairy processors that steer away from purchasing dairy products produced in the United States.

The program, which works similarly to the Class 6 pricing program set forth by Ontario, restricts the exportation of ultra-filtered milk — a protein-rich ingredient used in yogurt and cheese production.

Dairy farms throughout New York state rely heavily on exporting this product, and they could be faced with millions of dollars in losses.

“New York’s dairy farms are essential to the strength of our agricultural economy, and these regulations are already having a devastating effect on our dairy farmers and their families,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “With our growing concern that even more of our milk producers and our processors will be affected, I urge the federal government to call on Canada to reconsider these harmful regulations and continue our courteous, mutually beneficial trade relations.”

Last year, Gov. Cuomo wrote a letter advising Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to adjust the policies so dairy farmers in the United States are not harmed.

During a visit to Wisconsin Tuesday, Mr. Trump said that he will demand an explanation from the Canadian government for having the pricing programs.

“We’re also going to stand up for our dairy farmers,” Mr. Trump said. “Because in Canada some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others.”

He also threatened to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement if no action is taken to correct the problem.

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that he would stand by Mr. Trump in working to change Canada’s policies. The senator has repeatedly denounced the programs since last year, having called on former President Barack Obama to take action.

“I look forward to working with the Administration to pressure and persuade the Canadians to reverse this unwise policy, which is a violation of our agreements,” Sen. Schumer said in a statement. “When we renegotiate NAFTA, an agreement I opposed, we should make topic #1 enforcing existing trade commitments‎ to reverse these restrictive dairy pricing policies.”

In response to this push, Canadian farm groups, such as Dairy Farmers of Canada, have argued that programs like Class 6 are domestic policies that help the Canadian market adapt to changes within its borders and are not meant to restrict American exports.

Farm groups have also noted that this programs help manage milk supplies at a time when dairy markets in the United States and beyond are “over-saturated,” leading to low milk prices, financial instability and the dumping of millions of gallons of milk.

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