As consumers call for improved animal welfare, stewardship of the soil, and conservation of dwindling water supplies, Aurora Organic Dairy is preparing to open a heifer factory on 1,900 acres in the dry High Plains of Colorado. The feedlot will house 7,000 “organic” heifers (a young cow that hasn’t born offspring yet) when fully operational.
If Phillips County approves the proposal, Aurora’s planned heifer facility will be an industrial cow factory that ignores the intent of the organic law and requires an enormous amount of water in an arid region.
“Aurora’s new feedlot will have impacts on sensitive aquifers and other groundwater,” says The Cornucopia Institute’s director of domestic policy, Kestrel Burcham, JD. “This harm to the environment and local communities is the antithesis of what the organic label represents.”
Cornucopia has exposed the most notorious industrial “organic” dairies and their practices over the last 15 years. These actions include several legal complaints about Aurora Dairy, accusing the industrial operation of violating organic regulations that require grazing and prohibit the cycling of conventional livestock in and out of the organic program.
Aurora’s enormous factory farms in Colorado and Texas have remained certified despite successive complaints and evidence of repeated wrongdoing. Authentic organic dairy farmers, who raise calves born on-farm to replace or grow their milking herd and offer legitimate grazing pastures, continue to suffer on an unlevel playing field.
Watch for Cornucopia’s action alert in the near future.