Purpose Built

Fond du Lac Farms' was designed from the ground up to be a raw milk facility. Every decision was made with the thought of our cows’ comfort and cleanliness in mind.

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Why the Brown Swiss?

At Fond du Lac Farms we place a high priority on what we feed our cattle. We believe that what we feed our girls directly affects the quality of the milk they produce.

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Jul 17 2014

What are the benefits to drinking raw milk?

What does Fond du Lac Farms feed its cows?

Our cows are fed naturally grown and non-GMO dried pasture grass. They are not fed corn, soy, or any other grain byproduct.

Are Fond du Lac Farms' cows grazed on pasture?

Fond du Lac Farms is a traditionally operated dairy. It is not possible to "naturally" graze cattle in the desert for a number of reasons:

Contrary to what you may have heard or have seen in pictures, total year-round pasture feeding is not normal or natural for dairy cattle. It is not the way DAIRY cattle have historically been managed. What would be typical is for a cow to have access to pasture ONLY during a natural growing season, while still receiving supplemental feed. We are located in the desert and one of the hottest and driest areas in the country which is why we bring in natural and organic hay predominantly from local Arizona farmers. Year-round pasture feeding of DAIRY cattle would require artificial creation of a year-round pasture by intensive flood irrigation, which requires a lot of water, a limited resource in Arizona. That being said, we feel we would be doing a disservice to our state, nation and world by unnecissarily wasting such an important resource.

A couple important agricultural facts:

  1. Hay is dried Pasture
  2. Grain is grass seed.
  3. Dairy cattle are different than beef cattle, and thus require a different diet

These feeds (hay, grain, pasture) are completely natural and important feeds for dairy cattle. This of course, is dependent on the availability of these resources. All of these components have historically been a part of a dairy cows' diet. When pasture is cut, dried out and put in a bale, it is called HAY. When a pasture matures and is not cut it develops seeds, or GRAIN. When this occurs the nutrition within the leaves and stems decreases and the nutrition within the SEEDS/GRAIN increases.

A high-quality producing dairy cow cannot thrive on green pasture alone. Even the best pasture will not contain the nutrients needed for a dairy cow to produce milk. Feeding hay and grain in the diet is feeding concentrated pasture. When pasture is dried into hay the nutritional value is tenfold. Dairy cattle need the best available feed to maintain their weight and stay metabolically sound. Just as you might go to a nutritionist, a nutritionist is hired to help us balance a ration to keep our herd physically fit. Dairy cattle need the highest nutritional valued feed. What they receive is labeled SUPREME and (as you can imagine!) is also the most expensive.

Historically, no dairy based culture has ever tried to create year round pastures to feed their cattle. It makes no sense with respect to cow nutrition, water usage, or energy input. Historically, farmers have worked the natural cycles, utilizing pasture if it was available. It is more typical that pasture hay and grain would be harvested and stored to feed cattle throughout the year. Dairy cattle must have a consistent diet EVERYDAY. They don't like change nor can their bodies easily adapt to feed changes. The bacterium in their stomachs helps to convert the feed into milk. This good bacterium is created through a consistent diet. When a cows' diet is disrupted or changed, corrections must be made gradually. Usually, over the course of two weeks (minimum) a nutritionally stressed cow will be susceptible to many infectious and metabolic diseases. The cow will suffer as will her production and milk quality. (For example, ketosis is a metabolic disease that can be caused by inadequate nutrition during lactation. If dextrose levels are not restored to a good balance within the cow, she could die very quickly.)

  • "ANIMAL HUSBANDRY" is what we do at Fond du Lac Farms.
  • We care for dairy cattle 365 days a year.
  • We will only feed the highest quality organic hay and non-GMO grains available to us.
  • We take great pride in both the health of our cows and our ability to care for them.

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