Frequently Asked Questions
What is the name of your farm? Stauffer Dairy
Where is your farm located? Washington State
When was your farm established? 2009
What generation is your farm? Our farm is a first generation conventional dairy farm.
What generation are you? While our farm is a first generation dairy farm, my husband comes from deep roots in dairy and is a fourth generation dairy farmer. I did not grow up on a farm and thankful for the opportunity to be a first generation dairy farmer.
Do you sell your milk directly to the public? No. We are part of a farmer owned cooperative.
Who is your cooperative? Northwest Dairy Association (the views/opinions of my blog are my own)
Is your farm organic? No, our farm is not organic.
How many cows do you milk? We milk 200 cows. We have a mixed herd of Holsteins, jersey/Holstein crosses and I finally talked my husband into adding some jersey/brown swiss crosses to the herd.
What type of milking parlor do you have? Just recently we had a homemade milking parlor installed. We can now milk sixteen cows at a time, eight on each side. Read more about our parlor, here.
Do you use rBST? No, we do not. Read this article on how Washington state is rBST free.
Are there hormones in milk? The answer is yes. Hormones are naturally occurring in all dairy cattle. Read more from CommonGround about hormones in milk and labels that can be found on dairy products here.
Does hormones in milk cause issues in children & early puberty? No. Read this article for further explanation.
Does the consumption of natural estrogen in cow’s milk affect reproductive health? No. Read this study for further explanation.
Are there antibiotics in milk from conventional dairy farms? Recently the FDA confirmed that milk is safe after they preformed a study of our nation’s milk supply. “The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine study collected milk samples from nearly 2,000 dairy farms across the country. Samples were tested for residues of 31 different drugs, including all of the antibiotics most often used on U.S. dairy farms.” Read more here. Also, be sure to read my post on how we ensure that milk from cows that are treated with antibiotics do not enter the food supply. Keep in mind that antibiotic use is NOT common. Antibiotics are only used as a last resort for sick animals. Keeping animals healthy is our number one goal, healthy animals do not require treatment.
What do your dairy cows eat? We feed our milk cows a “total mixed ration” also known as a TMR. This is a diet of alfalfa hay, alfalfa silage (fermented alfalfa), ground barley grain, ground corn grain and vitamins/minerals. All of this is mixed together and fed to our cows.
Do you feed your cows GMOs? All our feed is non-GMO except the ground corn. I do not believe that feeding cows GMOs has an impact on their milk or meat. Click the following quote to read more.
Nutrients in meat, milk and eggs from livestock fed genetically engineered feeds have been found to be the same as the nutrients from livestock fed conventional feeds. The metabolic processes involved in digestion, absorption and the use of feed proteins by livestock species make it very unlikely for a protein of any plant gene to be found intact in food of animal origin, and none have been detected.
If cows are fed GMOs, does it impact their milk? No. Click on the following quote to read more.
Nowhere in the cow, or in you, can parts of plants be found (except, of course, in the digestive tract). When humans, or cows, eat plants, the plants are broken down into tiny molecular-sized fragments in the digestive system, so that the chemical factories in our body (or the cow) can make new fats, sugars, and proteins that we need.
What breed of cattle do you have? We have Holstein, jersey, Holstein/jersey cross and a handful of jersey/brown swiss crosses.
What type of barn do you have? We have a free-stall barn. Our cows can come and go as they please choosing where they rest.
Do your cows have names? No. The are all identified by a number. Regardless if they have a name or not, they are loved.
Do you take the calves away from their mothers? Yes. Read this post for more on that subject.
What do you do with dairy bull calves? We are currently raising them. Typically they are raised within our community as beef steers. Read this post for more on our dairy bull calves. We do not have any veal farms in our area nor have any of our bull calves been purchased by a veal farm.
I was invited by the American Veal Association after showing interest in veal farms to visit several licensed veal farms and processing plants. Read about my experience here.
If you want to learn more about veal farms, click here.
Do you pierce your cows ears? Yes. Please read this post for more information.
Does your farm have inspections? Yes we do. We are randomly inspected by our cooperative, state inspector and federal inspector. We also have animal welfare inspections through the National Dairy FARM Program.
Is your farm regulated? Yes! Here is a more in depth post about the inspections our farm goes through.
Is there something that I missed that you think should be on this list? Contact me and let me know.