What is Raw Milk?
Raw Milk is milk that has not been pasteurized, or heat-treated, which is standard procedure for industrially-produced milk. Raw Milk is also non-homogenized, which allows for the milkfat to rise naturally to the top of the milk and form a distinct cream layer. The cream layer can be skimmed for other uses or gently shaken back into the milk.
Is it safe?
Our milk must meet the same bacteriological standards as post-pasteurized milk. We are tested regularly by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and we are only 1 of 3 producers in California licensed to sell Raw Milk. In addition, we test every batch of milk ourselves to ensure safety and quality standards. To meet these standards we focus on cow cleanliness and health, strict sanitation procedures during milking, quick cooling of the milk, strict sanitation procedures during bottling, and timely delivery.
Important Note: Nothing is without risk, especially raw foods. Although we ourselves have been raised on Raw Milk and feel strongly about its superior quality, the State of California does not recommend Raw Milk to infants, pregnant women, the feeble and elderly, or those who suffer from chronic illnesses which may weaken their immune systems.
Is it Organic?
No, our Raw Milk is not certified organic; however, it is important to note that we do not use hormones, steroids, or corn- or soy-based feed. Our animals are raised with respect and treated with dignity. They do on rare occasions get sick, at which time we feel it is our responsibility to treat them with approved antibiotics, during which time them they and their milk are kept separate from the regular milk supply, so that none of our milk contains antibiotics. In order to receive organic certification, we would have to sell or slaughter cows which might otherwise live for another decade, rather than simply treat them for a few weeks with approved antibiotics. We, as 3rd generation dairymen, could not with good conscience neglect a sick animal for the sake of keeping a certification.
What do the cows eat?
Although our cows spend a lot of time on our seasonal pastures, the bulk of our cows’ diet is a mix of alfalfa hay and locally grown fresh salad greens from the Salinas Valley. Yes, it’s true….fresh salad greens! We are blessed with access to fresh salad greens, considering we are located in the Salad Bowl of America! The milking cows are also fed some non-corn/non-soy grain while they are being milked. We are actively renovating our existing irrigation system to improve pasture production throughout the year so that the cows always have a nutritious, palatable, and varied diet, allowing them to produce the most flavorful and nutritious milk possible. Our pastures have never been sprayed with any chemical fertilizer or pesticides. We practice rotational grazing, proper pasture recovery, and amend the soils with composted manure mulch.