UK Soil Association’s Organic Farming magazine, Autumn 2015
by Tim Harrap MPhil
With the title U.S. Organic Dairy Politics you might think Bruce Scholten’s new book was too parochial to be of interest to non-US readers interested in organic dairy farming systems. Far from it, this book highlights the social, economic and political challenges we all face in a commercial world.
The book ranges over the background to agricultural revolutions with reference to Balfour, Steiner and Carson and sets the scene for the battles over the number of days on pasture for cows that constitutes an organic production model. With such a variety of climates in the US a one size fits all will always cause friction – EU no different?
Bruce Scholten spends some time teasing out the question of animal welfare, GMO’s and the use of antibiotics in organic herds. He highlights for instance, the conflicting approaches whereby use of antibiotics in the US permanently removes an animal from an organic herd and yet a more liberal interpretation is used when bringing cows in calf into the herd for herd replenishment. Read Full Article »