Milk Muddle

Organic Milk Producer Under Pressure




Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock.com

The Aurora Organic Dairy pastures and feedlots north of Greeley, Colorado, are home to more than 15,000 cows—more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of the company that supplies milk to Walmart, Costco and other major retailers.

They adhere to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic regulations, but critical weaknesses exist in the inspection system the government uses to ensure that food is organic; farmers are allowed to hire their own inspectors to certify them, and thus can fall short of reaching standards without detection.

Organic dairies are required to allow the cows to graze daily throughout the growing season rather than be confined to barns and feedlots. Although the USDA National Organic Program allows for an extremely wide range of grazing practices that comply with the rule, Aurora was observed onsite and via satellite imagery by the Washington Post as having only a small percentage of the herd outdoors on any given day. The company disputes the data. U.S. organic dairy sales amounted to $6 billion last year; although it is more expensive to produce, the milk may command a premium price of 100 percent more than regular.


This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Living Life on the Yogic Path

What a Yale University education could not provide, an ancient yoga text did. That is what bhakti yogi Devamrita Swami experienced in the 1970s. As a scholarship student, Devamrita Swami wanted answers to the world’s problems.

Switch to a Natural Air freshener

NaturallyNeat Cleaning Services, LLC, is launching a new line of natural air fresheners, Neat Signatures, on September 15.

Wake Up and Smell the Organic Coffee

Shambra Johnson is an independent distributor and former platinum leader with Organo, a global network marketing company on a mission to change lives by helping people reach new levels of balance, freedom and well-being through their premium products and business opportunity.

Fall Into Wellness

With the theme of Self-Care to Community Well-Being, a holistic health and wellness event for all ages, Fall into Wellness, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., September 23, at Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting.

Outreach for Women’s Issues

Rose St. Julien, a licensed clinical social worker for 20 years, hosts a weekly women's personal growth group for creative, positive change.

Add your comment: