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Organic and farmer-owned since 1988.
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August, 2017

Animal Whisperers: Using Nature to Fight Pesky Flies

Theresa Westaby has no flies on her farm. Wait… you might be thinking. What?! Ok, “no” flies might be an exaggeration, but only a very…very…very slight one. The Westabys, who are Organic Valley dairy farmer-owners in Illinois, have been using Spalding Fly Predators for 14 years, and they rarely see a fly buzzing around their …

August 31st, 2017  |  Posted by Wendy Allen | Published in Organic Farming  |  2 Comments


Animal Whisperers: Cow Waterbeds—Yes, Really

I never thought I’d see the day when a cow would be resting on a nicer bed than me. Single chamber cow waterbeds were brought to the United States from the Netherlands back in 1999 by DCC Waterbeds inventor Dean Throndsen. Since then, they have become the bedding choice for thousands of farmers across the …

August 3rd, 2017  |  Posted by Maddie Doyle | Published in Featured Post, Organic Farming  |  1 Comment


Animal Whisperers: Respect the Cowbell

At the word “cowbell,” our first thought might be of an oft-parodied musical instrument (“More cowbell!”). But after that, we may fall into a bucolic scene: a line of cows, the leader wearing a gently dinging cowbell and guiding its fellows back in from the pasture at milking time. The cowbell isn’t just to create a …

July 28th, 2017  |  Posted by Wendy Allen | Published in Organic Farming


Animal Whisperers: Vacuuming up those Pesky Flies

We all know the feeling—there’s that one pesky fly that has its heart set on aggravating you all day long. Well, imagine being a cow and having a whole bunch of flies aggravating you all day long, while at the same time lacking the dexterity to swat them away. Enter the fly vac. James and …

July 14th, 2017  |  Posted by Maddie Doyle | Published in CROPP Culture, Organic Farming


Animal Whisperers: From Milking Parlor to Massage Parlor

Dirty cows are uncomfortable cows. Fly-bothered cows are uncomfortable cows. And uncomfortable cows are not happy cows. Plus, they produce less milk. Is there a way, then, to make cows clean and comfortable—short of bathing them individually every day and fanning away the flies by hand? One way is with a rotating cow brush. Scratch …

June 29th, 2017  |  Posted by Maddie Doyle | Published in Organic Farming


Animal Whisperers: Your Local (Bovine) Outdoor Enthusiasts

It’s easy to see why cows love pasture: lush grass, fresh air, plenty of space to amble around… Organic farmers have held pasture as a cornerstone of their farming practice since ‘organic’ labels started sneaking into early food co-ops. But even before the distinction between conventional and organic agriculture (when “farming” automatically meant organic farming …

June 22nd, 2017  |  Posted by Caroline Carlson | Published in Organic Farming, Outdoors, Sustainable Living


Animal Whisperers: Music Soothes the Savage…er…Gentle Beasts

Sure, excellent diet from pasture and plenty of time outdoors are the rock solid foundation to excellent animal care, but there’s a lot more to it than that. We want to share a few tricks of the organic farming trade that our farmer-owners use to keep their animals in peak condition and “on the sunny side” …

June 15th, 2017  |  Posted by Rootstock Editor | Published in CROPP Culture, Organic Farming


On the Record: Organic Valley Strongly Supports USDA Organic Animal Care Standards

Organic Valley strongly supports the USDA’s final rule on organic animal care standards. Our farmer-owned cooperative, which works with thousands of organic dairy, hog and poultry producers, has long advocated for action to clarify the conditions and expectations for animal care in organic farming. We have lived with inconsistencies in organic livestock and poultry production …

January 20th, 2017  |  Posted by Rootstock Editor | Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, On The Record, Organic Farming


What You Need to Know About the USDA Organic Animal Welfare Regulations

On April 7th, the USDA proposed new organic animal welfare regulations. The long-awaited regulations would provide better living conditions, including more access to the outdoors, for animals raised for organic meat and poultry, and for organic egg production. The regulations stand to improve the lives of millions of animals and uphold the integrity of the USDA …

May 18th, 2016  |  Posted by Rootstock Editor | Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, On The Record


Into the Driftless – A Special Housemate, A Better Neighbor: The Bat

When you move from the city to the Driftless country, there are a few things you have to get used to – businesses close by 5pm, buggy is an accepted form of transportation, and rifles are sold at Walmart. One thing that I’ve been more challenged to warm up to, is a small, winged visitor …

May 6th, 2016  |  Posted by Kelly Slentz | Published in CROPP Culture, Outdoors


 
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