Why is Pasture-Grazed Farming Important?

Happy, pasture-grazed cows mean better quality dairy for you and your family. That is why animal-friendly practices are at the heart of our farmers’ family operations. Kalona cows roam freely on lush pastures eating a complex diet of native and cultivated plants and grasses. Happy cows also mean happy farmers. One of our Kalona farmers said it best, “We like to see the cows out on the grass. They get to exercise that way and move around. It’s a pretty sight.”

Pasture-grazed farming is best for the cows.

Pasture-Grazed Farming:

Good for Cows

Cows that graze on fresh pasture enjoy better health than confined livestock. They live much longer than confined cows and are less inclined to contract diseases. Pasture-grazing also improves cows’ digestive health. It makes their stomachs less acidic and increases the beneficial bacteria in their digestive tracts, which aids in the digestion of their high-fiber diet.

pasture-based farming for grass-fed cows

Smart for Small Farmers

Pasture-grazed farming is essential to the success of the small Amish and Mennonite producers of Kalona SuperNatural milk. It eliminates the expensive and time-consuming waste disposal that comes with confined feeding. In addition, when cows are on pasture, they spread their own manure, which cuts down on fuel and equipment expenses.

A happy Kalona cow enjoying pasture-grazed grass

Healthy for the Soil

Our farmers prefer pasture-based farming because it contributes to the preservation of their farms for generations to come.  Pasture-grazed farming adds more organic matter to the soil, which protects it and helps reduce erosion. Less erosion means that the water runs into the ground, where it is needed, and not off the ground, where it causes flooding.  Our farmers also rotate crops to maintain soil fertility and protect soil and water quality. (1)

Happy pasture-grazed cows

The Grass is Greener on Kalona SuperNatural Pasture-Grazed Farms

At Kalona SuperNatural, we take pride in the dairy we produce. Our farmers produce high quality, pasture-grazed, organic milk. We work closely together and have the privilege of visiting their farms regularly.

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Sources
1. https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/Organic%20Livestock%20Requirements.pdf

2 Comments
  1. Hello Mary,

    As you may know, we work with small, sustainable farms to make our products, many of which are Amish and Mennonite. These farmers pasture-graze the cows as much as the weather and local conditions allow, vastly exceeding minimum of 120 days on pasture mandated by the National Organic Program. It is true that we are located in the Midwest, and during the winter when the ground is frozen over, grasses are not as readily available. During this time, farmers often rely on forage, either grown on the farm or purchased from nearby farms. Depending on the farmer and the situation, winter feed may also include one, some, or all of the following organic foods: roasted soybeans (for protein); corn (for energy); barley, hay, haylage, baleage, silage, or wheat. Though broadly speaking, our farmers have found that cows do best when they have a variety of feedstuffs, and during the warm months, are allowed to harvest their own feed from the lush pastures surrounding the farm.

    I hope this information helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to let me know.

    Best,
    Emily for Kalona Organics

  2. What do cows eat in wintertime when grass is not growing and/or covered with snow?
    thank you

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