Majority of dairy farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties are now organic
Shown below is a table we recently put together, which shows the number of dairies in Sonoma and Marin Counties. There is one number in the table we care a lot about, and it keeps going up: The percentage of certified organic dairy farms.
Seems like a long time ago, when the Straus family dairy became the first certified organic dairy in California and the western United States. Now, almost twenty years later, 75% of farms in Marin and 68% of all dairy farms in Sonoma are either certified or are in transition to become certified organic.
With a rapidly aging farming population and rising prices for production and land, more and more dairy farmers come to realize, that converting to organic provides a meaningful way for their farms to survive in this economy.
Organic farming can provide a model to preserve family farming in our communities. It also benefits land and animals: Organic practices don’t allow for the use of pesticides and antibiotics. This means that, overall, fewer pesticides are going into our land, fewer antibiotics are given to animals, and more cows have regular access to pasture.
Consumers have played a key role in this development. Organics is a thriving market with ever increasing demand, which has more than doubled since 2004. Consumers ask more and more questions about the food they eat, where it comes from and what farming practices were used to grow it.
We support this trend, as it will only continue to benefit organic family farms that have used their expertise for decades to create organic farming practices that build soil and treat animals with respect.