Berle Farm

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersHoosick, NY
ProductsCheese, yogurt
Websitewww.berlefarm.com
Market AreaMA, NY, VT
Total Score1650

They write: “Berle Farm has a twenty year history of diversified farming. The farm has evolved to a low outside input style with a beautiful little dairy herd of 10 cows. Our organic cattle graze 400 hundred acres of pasture. We grow open pollinated, saved seed corn, oats, rye and hay, as well as, vegetables and fruit.”

CriteriaPointsComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1650
5-Cow Rating | Top-Rated
Farmstead dairies earn the most points. Corporations that have a history of skirting the organic rules receive the fewest.
Ownership structure
100Farmstead dairy
Farms that produce 100% of their milk receive the most points. Milk from "open market" or known confinement dairies receive the fewest.
Milk Supply
100Single farm
100% organic farms receive the most points. Split operations with conventional dairy on the same property receive the fewest.
Organic Production
100Brand only markets organic
Farms that completed the survey in detail received the most points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
100Full disclosure
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certification
100Stellar Certification Services
Animal Welfare Approved and Biodynamic certifications receive the most bonus points. Producers are not penalized for not having additional certifications beyond organic.
Other Labels/Standards
100Biodynamic Certified
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
Grass-fed
90Excellent grazing; markets "grass fed"
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
Yes
Sliding scale based on policies, enforcement, acreage/cow, days/year on pasture, and permissible exemption.
Pasture
100Over 2 acres per cow, which is a superb ratio.
One time/day receives the most points. Two times per day is standard.
Times Milked
90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
Lower cull rate scores better, with under 10% receiving the most points.
Cull/death Rate
100Very low cull rate
Farms with closed herds receive the most points. Farms that sell organic calves and buy conventional replacements receive the fewest.
Replacements
100Closed herd
Standard practice is removing calves shortly after birth, with extra points given for unique ways of managing calves
Calves
70Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
Farms that prohibit antibiotics receive the most points. Farms that allow young stock to receive antibiotics (under one year), receive the fewest.
Antibiotic Use
100No antibiotic use
No hormones is the standard, however some farms do use oxytocin for therapeutic purposes.
Hormone Usage
100No hormones used
Farmstead dairies (owner lives on-site) receive the most points. Fewer points are given as oversight declines.
Farm Support
100Live on premises
All ingredients sourced from inside the organization or on the farm receives the highest points. Ingredients from confinement factory farms and/or imported ingredients receive the fewest.
Procurement of Ingredients
100No outside ingredients used
Various levels of extra credit given for 1) providing full organic systems plan, 2) providing details on all farms (multi-farm brands, details on largest five required), and 3) sourcing feed on-farm or domestically.
Extra Credit
100This dairy produces 100% of their feed on-farm and does not purchase any non-domestic grain.