A New Level Of Humane
Pamela Accetta Smith
A newly formed group of family dairy farms, Grass Point Farms, is the first national dairy to be certified to use the “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” label on its fluid milk, butter and cheese products. Thorp, Wis.-based Grass Point is the 46th company to receive Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) certification since the nonprofit organization’s program was unveiled in May 2003.
The “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” label is intended to assure consumers that a meat, poultry, egg or dairy product has been produced according to HFAC’s precise standards for humane farm animal treatment. Animals must receive a nutritious diet without antibiotics or hormones and must be raised with shelter, resting areas and space sufficient to support natural behavior.
Wow, cows being treated better than most children in the United States? Now that’s something.
Seriously, all philanthropic sarcasm aside, this is truly wonderful, another step forward in pursuit of the civilized treatment of animals.
According to an interesting article found on the Web, Grass Point comprises seven family farms that graze dairy cows on Wisconsin’s rich grasslands, employing traditional rotational grazing methods used by the region’s original farmers. Successful “grazers,” as they are sometimes called, spend years creating an ecosystem in which soils, plants, wetlands, woodlands and cows coexist in a balance that supports the cows’ natural behavior.
According to Chad Pawlak, president of Grass Point Farms, grassland grazing greatly enhances a cow’s health and vitality. What, then, is the end result for the finished dairy product you ask? What exactly does this mean for the average consumer?
Pawlak says a typical dairy cow takes 6,000 bites of grass each day. For each bite the cow harvests for herself, we all benefit from reduced costs associated with the farmer harvesting the grass, processing it into bales, storing the grass and delivering it as a meal.
The company proudly debuted its new line of premium dairy products at the All Things Organic Show in Chicago in May. Grass Point manufactures fluid milk, butter and nine artisan cheeses, including blue cheese, feta, cheddar, smoked cheddar, cottage cheese and colby. The company’s certified humane grazing standards are the first to be applied to a dairy product line available nationwide.
“The public in general is becoming increasingly more aware of the nature of most modern farming practices and the source of the food products they put in their cart at the store,” says Pawlak. “As the mainstream media, from the Washington Post, to The New York Times Magazine to 60 Minutes, share the conditions of mega-scale farming today, people are becoming more concerned about the source of their food.”
Grass Point Farms is a brand of Organic Farm Marketing Inc. For more company information, visit www.grasspoint.com.$OMN_arttitle="A New Level Of Humane";?>