Radiance Dairy

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersFairfield, IA
ProductsFluid milk
Websitewww.facebook.com/Radiance-Dairy-130818210287916
Market AreaIA
Total Score1645

Operated by Francis Thicke, a widely respected pioneering organic dairy producer, and his wife Susan, this truly sustainable farm markets in a very intimate geographic area. Its connection with the marketplace truly exemplifies the organic ideal.

They write: “Radiance Dairy is an organic, grass-based dairy located near Fairfield, Iowa, with on-farm processing facilities in which cream-line milk (whole, 2%, and skim), whipping cream, yogurt, and cheese are produced. All of the products made on the farm are sold locally through three grocery stores and about twenty restaurants in Fairfield. All of our dairy products are sold within a five-mile radius of the farm. All milk produced on the farm is processed by Radiance Dairy, and no milk is brought onto the farm from other dairies.

Radiance Dairy began in 1980 with two cows. Over the years it has grown to the current milking herd of 90 cows. Owned by Francis and Susan Thicke, it is operated by them and several employees.”

CriteriaPointsComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1645
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
100Family farm
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 dairy products
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
100Nature's International Certification Services (NICS)
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
0None
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
Grass-fed
80High intake from grass
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy Free Ration?
No
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
100Less than 10% annually
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
100Calving done on pasture; calves allowed to graze with mothers and nurse
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
175OSP submitted, very transparent. With respect to the concern of fraudulent grain imports, this dairy produces 100% of their own feed except on bad years, where feed is purchased from a neighbor.