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From the News Archives...

Why can't it happen here?

The Irish are waking up to the multitude of advantages of their grass-based dairies. As you read excerpts from a recent summary of the benefits of their system (referred to below as the "Moorepark" system) you may wonder why American dairy farmers have been so slow to catch on. Indeed, one of the major organic dairies in this country is fighting the proposed organic standards that would require cows to be kept on pasture.

"Milk production from grazed grass is the most natural from the cow's point of view. She is operating in the environment she evolved in and is consuming a high quality fibrous foodstuff, which eliminates the risk of metabolic diseases associated with high grain feeding in other systems of milk production."

"The concern of consumers, that milk is being produced by cows consuming genetically modified food is removed, as the only component of the diet is pasture."

"The good health of cows on this system is evident by their high level of food consumption, which can reach 25 kg DM/day, and their health status as indicated by low somatic cell levels (SCC) in milk (<200,000/ml.), the virtual absence of foot problems (<2% of the herd) and good reproductive performance."

"The Moorepark system of milk production also eliminates the need for the storage of the daily production of manure because the cow returns it to the pasture herself! Thus, the problem of spreading large quantities of manure to the soil at different times of the year are eliminated. This is a system of natural re-cycling."

"Milk produced from pasture (as in the Moorepark system) is also a source of some very positive components from a human health point of view, e.g. monounsaturated fatty acids which lower cholesterol, calcium which is protective against osteoporosis, and conjugated linoleic acid which is protective against certain types of cancer."

A system of dairying that is good for the animals, good for the land, and good for the consumers is a win-win-win situation. Why aren't American entrepreneurs paying attention? We need a Tom and Jerry of the fledgling American grassfed dairy industry.

For the full report, click on the URL below and scan for the article titled "Natural Irish Milk." http://www.teagasc.org/publications/dairy
openday2000/index.htm#Natural_Irish_Milk

 

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