Working Cows Dairy

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersSlocomb, AL
ProductsButter, cream, fluid milk, vat pasteurized, grassfed
Websitewww.workingcowsdairy.com
Market AreaAL
Total Score1610

Working Cows Dairy has tested a significant percentage of their cows for A2 milk but does not have a 100% A2 milk herd. They vat pasteurize their products (at a low temperature).

They write: “In 1985, we, Jan and Rinske de Jong, came to the land of opportunity with a dream to start a dairy of our own. We started “Working Cows Dairy” in October 1985. We milked 180 cows for a dairy farmer in Cottondale Florida and for that we could use his barn and 40 acres. We leased 55 cows, with the $5,000 we had saved in Holland, and started milking about 20 hours a day. In the spring of 1986 Jan planted watermelons on part of the land and had a fruit stand on Hwy 231. We stayed on this place for 2 years and left with 29 cows to a rented place in Grand-Ridge Florida. There we had three boys Jonny, Mendy, and Ike. We worked our way up from 29 cows to 220 cows four years later. We moved again to the place we are now located in June 1991.

We do not homogenize our milk so the cream still comes to the top. We sell Whole, 2%, 1%, and Fat Free all in gallons and half gallons. We have half gallons of cream and chocolate milk too. Please visit our website for more information on our family farm.”

CriteriaPointsComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1610
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
75California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
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
100Animal Welfare Approved & American Grassfed Cert.
100% grass-fed with independent verification of standards
Grass-fed
100100% grassfed, certified by AGA
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
90Low 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
80Calves kept with mothers or nurse cows for at least 12 weeks
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
75OSP submitted, very transparent