Both are possible in Washington thanks in part to the efforts of dairies like Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy (FBOD). Located in Lynden, Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy is owned and operated by the Langleys, a fifth generation dairy family. Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy has received a “5 Cow Rating” (cows are much cooler than stars!) from the Cornucopia Institute because their cows, land, pasteurization process and bottling are all certified organic.
So what exactly does it mean to be certified organic? For FBOD, it means that everything they feed their cows must be certified organic. Organic feed cannot have been produced with the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides; and the land on which it is grown must have been in organic status for at least three years. As soon as their cows are born, they begin eating feed grown on this land.
Organic feed is the essential step to having certified organic cows. To maintain their organic certification, cows cannot be given supplementary hormones, antibiotics or certain other medications.
Certified organic dairies must also pass annual inspections of their records and facilities. In Washington, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is the entity charged with this responsibility, and the WSDA enforces the United States Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program standards.
Moving beyond its certified organic status, Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy has been awarded Salmon-Safe certification because of its efforts to protect Washington’s water quality and wildlife habitat. FBOD is located on the Bertrand Creek watershed, and Bertrand Creek actually sluices through the farm. Bertrand Creek is a breeding habitat for salmon. To protect the watershed, the creek and the fish, Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy takes special measures to prevent soil erosion and works to handle and store manure waste according to protocol.
So, if you’re looking for a way to shop local and drink organic, Washington dairy families like the Langleys are working hard to make that possible. Fresh Breeze Organic produces milk (whole, reduced fat, low-fat and non-fat), chocolate milk, Half & Half, heavy whipping cream and egg nog.