What do the cows eat? - Straus Family Creamery

What do the cows eat?

The cows spend time out on pasture year round grazing whenever the weather permits. They graze on the rich, sweet grasses that are typical for Marin and Sonoma Counties. In the North Bay Coast region of California, with long wet and dry seasons, the cows eat a diet of 50 – 80% forages, which include fresh grasses, silage, and hay, depending on the time of year and pasture growth. The other 20 – 50% consists of a variety of certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified grains such as barley, flax meal, soy, and corn. All purchased feeds are certified organic and are tested to verify that they are non-GMO.

Milking cows need a balanced diet, full of nutrients. We work closely with a dairy nutritionist, who has served on the National Organic Standards Board, to create a balanced diet for the cows to maintain their health and milk production.

All of the farmers providing milk to the Creamery follow the National Organic Program’s Pasture Rule – grazing and pasture management standards as defined by USDA Organic Label requirements. Animals must graze at least 120 days per year and obtain at least 30% dry matter intake by grazing.

We believe giving cows access to grazing on grass contributes to good animal welfare and reduces the environmental impact on the land. A planned rotational grazing of the cows supports plant growth in carbon farming practices.

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