Is your cheese made from happy cows?

Dairy cow looks into camera in milking parlor
Photo credit: Stephen Ward
Q:

I'm interested in purchasing some of your cheese. I'd like to know if your dairy cows are treated with antibiotics or hormones and if your dairy is certified humane.

- Lane County, Oregon
A:

The cheeses are made by our students at the campus creamery using milk from the OSU dairy farm. Our cows are treated with antibiotics if they get sick - for example if they get mastitis. If a cow receives antibiotics, her milk is removed from the milk stream. In addition, we test each load of milk that we use for cheese making to be sure that there are no detectable antibiotics in the milk. (Required by law as well.) Our cows are not treated with rBST (Bovine somatotropin) or bovine growth hormone. As far as I know, the dairy farm is not audited by a 3rd party animal welfare certification program. However, the farm is used for education of animal science students and our cows are obviously well cared for.

Lisbeth Goddik
OSU Dairy Processing Extension Specialist
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