Hawthorne Valley Farm

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersGhent, NY
ProductsCheese, fluid milk, raw milk, yogurt, vat pasteurized, A2 breeds
Websitehawthornevalleyfarm.org
Market AreaEast
Total Score1630

They write: “At Hawthorne Valley Farm, we’ve been dedicated to producing high quality food for more than 35 years. Our biodynamic farming practices reflect our commitment to protecting the health of the earth and all who live on it, and our education and outreach programs strive to raise awareness of the social, ecological, and economic importance of agriculture in our daily lives.

Our vision statement reads, “nurturing the land that nurtures us” and we take this statement seriously. Our goals are: to establish a true Biodynamic Farm; to connect children and adults with the land and the food that nourishes them; and to provide agricultural products of the highest quality. Through the farm’s products, we hope to open an educational dialogue about our environment, our economy, and ourselves.”

CriteriaPointsComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1630
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 and Animal Welfare Approved
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
Grass-fed
60Exceeds USDA percent intake requirements
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
100Excellent pasture compliance
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
100Replacement animals are raised on their mothers for 6 months
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
100Single farm
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
80Dairy gets all of their feed from domestic sources and grows almost all of their food. Has personal relationship with organic farm they buy any excess grain from.