US Can't Quench That Organic Dairy Thirst

US - Surrounded by cows in one of organic dairyman Tony Azevedo's pastures, visitors from the city are struck by a sound most of them have never heard -- stereophonic munching.
calendar icon 23 July 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
The cows are eating ryegrass, clover, alfalfa -- as many as 70 different grasses, many of them planted by Azevedo. Others are volunteers that came in on a welcome Central Valley breeze. The munching of these 1,000-pound animals sounds like a room full of kids wolfing down cereal.

"I like that sound,'' Azevedo said. "It must mean all is right in the pasture.''

Consumers must like it as well. Sales of organic milk are climbing in California and the nation as the organic industry steps up its marketing of farming that eschews antibiotics, synthetic hormones and genetic engineering.

Organic dairy farmers will tell you that consumers want to see cows grazing in a natural habitat, not confined with mounds of feed, getting injected with a synthetic growth hormone for greater milk production.

It doesn't matter to growing numbers of people that organic milk costs more than milk produced by conventional dairies. And that price gap has narrowed in recent months as milk prices soared.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle
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