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.

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.

CriteriaRatingComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600)1645
5-Cow Rating | Top-Rated—Beyond Organic
Farmstead dairies who live on-site (or work their own dairy daily) receive top points for this category. No transparency and/or no answer receive no points.
Ownership structure
100Family farm
Farmstead dairies and well-managed cooperatives with only their own patrons get top points in this category. Fewer points go to brands that have less control over their milk supply.
Milk Supply
100Single farm
Brands that do not also market any conventional products receive top points in this category. Brands that are less dedicated to organics receive fewer points.
Organic Production
100Brand only markets organic dairy products
The best transparency toward Cornucopia investigators is rewarded by full points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
100Full disclosure
If a top-rated organic certifier certifies this brand they receive full points. Certifiers with questionable practices receive fewer points.
Organic Certification
100Nature's International Certification Services (NICS)
If this brand has other third-party labels, particularly animal-welfare labels, that will provide them extra points in this category depending on the particular label and its standards.
Other Labels/Standards
0None
100% Grass-fed with independent verification or independent standards to ensure compliance will receive full points in this category. Other points are attributed to how much forage composes the dairy cows’ diets.
Grass-fed
80High intake from grass
No point value – this information is offered for buyers interested in milk from cows without soy in their diets.
Soy Free Ration?
No
Rating based on (a) policies of brand, (b) enforcement/oversight (c) acreage available per cow, (d) average days on pasture (e) investigative actions.
Pasture
100Excellent pasture compliance
Where cows are milked one to two times per day they receive top points. It's standard organic protocol to milk two times a day. Dairies that milk three-to-four times a day is one indicator of factory-organics.
Times Milked
90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
A cull and/or death rate under 10% annually receives full points.
Cull/death Rate
100Less than 10% annually
Closed herd (meaning the brand raises all their replacement cattle) receives full points. If conventional animals are purchased, the brand receives fewer points.
Replacements
100Closed herd
If this brand has a unique way of managing calves they receive more points. If they remove the calf shortly after birth (the standard practice) they receive 70 points.
Calves
100Calving done on pasture; calves allowed to graze with mothers and nurse
When the brand prohibits all antibiotic use they receive full points. No answer receives no points.
Antibiotic Use
100No antibiotic use
When no hormones are used on farm(s) this brand receives full points. When the brand uses hormones therapeutically post-birth the brand receives 50 points.
Hormone Usage
100No hormones used
Farmstead dairies (lives on site) get full points and cooperative/corporations that set standards and have staff that visit the supplying dairies also receive top points. No direct supervision and/or personal relationship with farm(s) gets low or no points.
Farm Support
100Single farm
Full control of any added ingredients (100% come from within organization) receives top points. Dairy ingredients purchased from a number of different vendors (with less direct control) receives fewer points in this category.
Procurement of Ingredients
100No outside ingredients used
Several questions were asked in addition to the original survey questions that would ultimately give producers “extra credit” points. Look for details in individual brand explanations.
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.

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