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Here are some of the questions we frequently hear from you. Don't see your question? Just ask us.
Horizon organic milk comes from nearly 700 certified organic family farms in 23 states. Our family farmer partners supply 99% of our milk. Horizon also owns and operates a farm in Maryland that supplies 1% of our milk. Learn more.
The farms that provide our milk come in all shapes and sizes from every region of the country. But they all share the belief that organic milk makes sense for healthy families and a healthy planet. The average herd size of a Horizon partner farm is 90 cows. Learn more about Our Farms.
Each farm is required to demonstrate compliance with a site-specific organic system plan and National Organic Program standards. This is done via onsite monitoring, annual organic inspections by USDA-accredited certifying agent representatives or independent inspectors, and routine visits from Horizon field personnel. The same is true for our company-owned farm in Maryland.
All organic farms must be certified by an independent, third-party certifier to ensure stringent USDA organic standards are met. Organic certification includes annual inspections and spot checks. Our farmer partners may choose from USDA accredited certifiers. Quality Assurance International (QAI) certifies Horizon's company-owned farm. To learn more, visit Our Farms.
We raise our own organic calves from birth on our company-owned farm, as do our family farmer partners.
All Horizon cows graze on certified organic pasture. When they are not on pasture, they are fed only organic, vegetarian feed that has been produced without the use of genetically modified grains or the use of persistent herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers.
In compliance with USDA Organic Regulations, all Horizon cows must graze on pasture for at least four months of the year. The grazing season varies depending on geographic region. Cows are required to have year-round access to the outdoors, shade, shelter, exercise areas and direct sunlight. Fresh air and exercise are considered vital to a cow's health even in the non-pasture season. Every farmer is responsible for creating and adhering to a pasture management plan that must be updated annually.
The use of antibiotics is strictly prohibited in organic dairy animals, including calves, at all stages of life. The first and best defense against illness is prevention. But when a calf or cow does become ill, we rely on natural and alternative methods as our preferred treatment. If a sick animal cannot be restored to full health with organic-approved treatments, we may administer antibiotics or other prescribed synthetic medicines to return a calf or cow to good health. However, when antibiotics or other prohibited materials are administered, the animal is no longer considered organic and is permanently removed from the herd. We always consider the well-being of our animals first and never allow an animal to suffer. The use of added growth hormones rBST and rBGH is strictly prohibited on Horizon farms. The use of these substances is not allowed in any organic dairy; however, no significant difference has been shown between milk from rBST-treated and non rBST-treated cows.
The first and best defense against illness is prevention. Quality pasture, high-forage diets, low-stress birthing, regular veterinary checkups, freedom of movement and clean living conditions all contribute to preventive health care. When a calf or cow does become ill, we rely on natural and alternative methods as our preferred treatment. The use of antibiotics is strictly prohibited. If a sick animal cannot be restored to full health with organic-approved treatments, we may administer antibiotics or other prescribed synthetic medicines. However, when antibiotics or other prohibited materials are administered, the animal is no longer considered organic and is permanently removed from the herd. We always consider the well-being of our animals first and never allow an animal to suffer.
No, cloned animals cannot be considered organic under National Organic Program regulations. Horizon does not allow cloned animals on its partner or company-owned farm.