September 3rd, 2013
Shorter, cooler days are evidence of fall’s imminent arrival. At our founder’s farms, the dairy cows won’t miss summer’s hotter temperatures, says Herd Manager, Cesar Rey. Cesar has come to know the cows’ habits well over the five years he’s managed our founder’s three organic dairy farms. Many of the cows Cesar himself picked out as calves, and he has grown quite attached to them.
The Holstein and Jersey cows that Cesar tends to are given the best of care. They spend much of their days roaming in wide open pastures or sleeping in generously sized farm beds. “Our cows’ quarters are longer, wider and deeper than the industry standard,” says Cesar. “They lead happy, low-stress lives because we don’t push for milk production. We let the cows decide for themselves how often they want to be milked,” he explains proudly. “Because the cows are never pushed, they live longer.”
The milk from these cows is used for Pacific’s creamy and condensed soups. Knowing where our organic dairy comes from allows us to ensure both the quality of the milk and the treatment of the animals. (All our founder's dairy farms are Animal Welfare Approved.)
Cesar loves working on what he calls a “real farm.” Formerly a veterinarian working in Columbia, South America, Cesar saw his share of large industrial dairy farms. “The cows there become like a commodity and a number,” he explains. “I know the history of every heifer here, even which babies came from which cows.”
Cesar is on call 24/7 to the three dairy farms, delivering calves when help is needed and ensuring that the cows’ strict vegetarian diet of alfalfa, grass hay, flax meal, wheat straw and barley, is served up twice a day. Cesar doesn’t seem to mind though. He beams, “We take care of them and they take care of us.”