Frequently Asked Questions

What is "Free Range 365" Milk?

Free Range 365 certified milk is 100% pure milk produced by local cows that have access to grass covered pastures 365 days per year. 

What do free range cows eat?

Free range cows eat much of the same as free stall or dry lot cows, but they have the added ability to graze on the fresh grass that is growing daily to supplement their diet.

 

Is organic milk free range?

Most likely not.  The federal organic standards only require cows to spend a minimum of 120 days on pasture, so you never know just how much those cows spend on pasture. Only free range 365 milk is certified to truly be 100% free range 100% of the year.

 

I thought all milk was free range?

Actually the majority of milk and milk products today come from cows confined in or around barns with none, or at best, seasonal access to pasture.  The most common type of confinement barns are called freestall barns, other types include bedded pack, tie stall, and dry lots.

 

Where can I get free range milk?

Actually there is a chance you are drinking *some* now.  Approximately 60% to 70% of the milk in Florida (even higher nationwide) is conventional, so the remaining free range milk is blended with this conventional milk. The percentage of milk that is free range is going away at an alarming rate.  If you want 100% free range milk or want help ensure it exists in the future, you must ask for it by name "Free Range 365" from your grocer.

Does free range milk cost more?

We hope FR365 milk will be available to consumers at little to no premium over conventional milk, and never want to see it cost as much as organic milk.  Eventually, it will have to cost more, to compensate for the added costs of keeping cows on pasture, but we are committed to making sure it is available to everyone, at a reasonable price.

What are dry lots (open lots)?

Dry lots are like they sound, they are small pens with no vegetation where cows are kept until they are ready to be milked.  These types of farms are typically located in arid climates where there is little rainfall.

What are freestall barns?

Freestall barns are large buildings on farms that the cows are kept in, fed, and have a small stall bedded with typically, sand, sawdust, or dried manure to lay in, some even have "waterbeds" to lay on.

 

What does "Finally consumers have a choice" mean?

Until now, consumers have not been given the opportunity to choose free range milk.  This is our effort to give consumers the knowledge and power to make that choice before it is too late.

How much do farmers really care about their cows?

We're glad you asked.  Short answer..... healthy, low stressed, high producing cows consume the farmer's whole life.  Below are some links to dairy publications.   We encourage you to read them, notice the trends in the articles, notice what goods and services are advertised, and look closely at the pictures.  We're sure you will be amazed by all the work that goes into making a simple glass of milk.

Progressive Dairyman

Hoard's Dairyman

Farm Journal

Dairy Max

A final note, please allow us to make one thing clear:

Farmers (regardless of the amount of free range time their cows enjoy) love, care for, and have the upmost respect for their animals.  Up until now, the consumer has charged the farmer with making the most milk from each cow at the lowest possible price.  Farmers have heeded that call and done an amazing job encouraging cows to produce more milk per cow year after year.  As a result, cows are spending less and less time on natural pastures.  That's not to say cows in confinement are not comfortable, or cared for; they are just much more efficient in a controlled environment and they can produce milk cheaper with that method.  This is why farmers are rapidly moving their herds into total confinement.  Many of our Free Range 365 farmers are seriously considering this choice as well.  We feel like you deserved the right to make a conscious choice. If you want the absolute cheapest milk, don't choose Free Range 365 milk.  Farmers too, are ultimately in the service industry, and will be happy to serve what ever you want. If you believe cows are entitled to roam grass covered pastures, please ask for, and choose, Free Range 365 milk and milk products.