After 25 Years, Straus Family Creamery Is Still Pioneering Organic Dairy
Close your eyes, just for a second, and think about where your dairy products come from. You’re probably imagining herds of happy cows scattered across rolling pastures, breathing clean air, and munching on lush green grass — the romantic image of a quintessential family farm. It’s a beautiful scene (even if the realities of farming aren’t always that picture-perfect), but one that’s disappearing across America, where nearly 100,000 dairies have folded in the last three decades, unraveling the rural communities that rely on them.
In Marin and Sonoma Counties, where fog, sunshine, and seasonal rains take turns kissing the hills, about 80 percent of dairies are certified organic. Those farms are struggling, too, due to a surplus of organic milk, which has caused farmers everywhere to lose income and go out of business. But this region is still faring better than the rest of the country. Until the last few years, the area went more than a decade without losing a single one of its organic dairy farms. Straus Family Creamery, founded by Albert Straus in 1994 as the first 100 percent certified organic creamery in the U.S., has a lot to do with that.