At long last, we may be a little closer to knowing what an organic moo cow does all day. Recently issued USDA draft rules explicitly state that cows producing organic milk should spend considerable time on pasture, the Associated Press reports. The new rules require cows to be on pasture 120 days a year and to get at least 30 percent of their feed from grazing during the growing season. That’s strict enough to satisfy most organic organizations according to the AP story.
Such rules would eliminate industrial organic milk operations, which feed cows organic grain but keep them inside feedlots. When news broke about these farms several years ago, the USDA heard about it: In a public comment period, the agency received 80,500 comments, and only 28 thought the rules should not be tightened.