To us, that means making compassion and empathy a habit in how we treat our cows, our farmers, and our teams. Here’s what we’re doing to keep pushing our animal welfare standards forward.
Our program is a comprehensive animal welfare program that includes quality of life and enrichment for our cows. Cow brushes are an example of enrichment–they just make cows’ day-to-day lives better. The program also focuses on optimizing milk production through care, not maximizing it to get more milk. Veterinarian Dr. Jen Walker leads the program, bringing her vast experience and passion for bettering the lives of cows. Dr. Jen, as we call her, is a 2019 U.C. Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Science Award of Distinction recipient.
Our program is also unique in recognizing that the care and empathy shown to farm workers directly impacts the care and empathy given to the animals in their care. The conditions of farm workers, along with milk quality, are key elements of the program.
The Quality and Care Program:
We regularly take part in a third-party audit across all our partner farms to make sure we’re walking the walk. It’s created by an external Animal Welfare Advisory Council.
Our external Animal Welfare Council is made up of academics specializing in animal welfare science and dairy cattle health. They meet regularly to share insights and help develop industry-leading standards for quality and care. They also build the audit we use across all our partner farms.
They’re people–all cows are champions to us. Our Cow Champions are a traveling staff of seven. Our Northeast Regional Quality Specialist, Dr. Paul Biagiotti, is such an expert that he’s written a book on organic dairy farming.