Are you worried there may be antibiotics in your milk? Do you make decisions about which type of milk to purchase based on which you feel is safer? There actually is never (under federal law) antibiotics in milk. Period. Have you also ever wondered how cows live on dairy farms? USFRA partnered with Food52 to bring you answers to these questions and more.
We visited Tiashoke Farm in upstate New York, run by Jessica and Stuart Ziehm. “We are a modern family farm operating in 2015,” Jessica says. The Ziehms take pride in the care and procedures their farm has implemented to ensure their milk is safe.
“Milk is one of most highly regulated foods out there,” Stuart explains, ensuring consumers are purchasing one of the best, safest and most nutritious products on the market. “Before the trailer is unloaded at the plant, we actually send a sample and it has to pass the quality test,” he adds. “After it passes the quality test, it can then be unloaded, but after it’s unloaded at the plant, it then has to pass more tests.”
What if the Ziehms have to give antibiotics to a sick cow?
Tiashoke Farm uses a very small amount of antibiotics. “We only use them on an as-needed basis…just like a child. If a cow received antibiotics, she is removed from her normal milking pen. Once her milk is clear and once we know that it’s antibiotic-free, then she goes back into normal population with the rest of her peers. And then she goes back into the milking stream,” Stuart describes.
Jessica tells her friends to “just buy milk. Just buy the regular old milk because it’s a highly regulated product. There really is no difference between organic and conventional milk. Every farm strives to be as organic as we possibly can – that’s just in our nature as farmers.”
Tiashoke Farm also feeds its cows the best balanced diet possible. That includes corn chopped up into tiny pieces, alfalfa grass and other nutrients cows need to stay healthy.
This video is part of a series that USFRA created in partnership with Food52. We traveled across the U.S. to take an inside look into a variety of farms and ranches to bring answers to the many questions consumers have about the food we eat and how it’s grown and raised.