How fresh can you get?
You’ll notice our organic products have a shorter code date than some of the other organic milks that are on Arizona shelves. That’s because our organic milk is produced, processed and sold in Arizona. It’s just a few short miles from the farm to the processing plant to the grocery store. Since we don’t have to travel as far, we don’t need to extend the shelf life which means we don’t need to process our milk as much as some who use a UHT pasteruization process. Instead, we use what’s called an HTST pasteurization process that gives our organic products a shorter expiration date.
What makes us so organic?
For more than 90 years, we’ve made it a priority to take good care of our cows, and we’re doing the same thing with our organic herd. We use our own cows on our own Arizona farm, so it’s fresher, tastes better and it’s a great value. And we follow specific guidelines to make sure our milk is good, healthy and certified organic.
A happy cow is a productive cow
Here’s a fun fact: just one of our organic cows produces up to 55 pounds of milk a day, which is just over six gallons! We like to think it’s a sign of contentment. In fact, at Shamrock Farms, we’ve always treated our cows well. We know that when we’re good to them, they’re good to us. We give them plenty of room in their stalls, access to the outdoors and lots of healthy food to eat.
Not only that, we take care of the land they’re raised on. Shamrock Farms emphasizes renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water. After all, we want to enhance the quality of our herd’s environment and preserve it for generations to come.
Meeting the organic standards
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put in place a set of national standards that must be met in order to wear the label “USDA-Certified Organic.” They’re the highest organic production and handling standards in the world, and we live by them here at the farm. To be considered truly organic, we have to qualify in three key areas – what our cows eat, where they live and how they’re treated.
A government-approved certifier inspects the land where organic food is grown. Our pastures must have no prohibited substances applied to them for at least three years before our organic herd can graze from them. That means no pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. The same goes for the land where our feed is grown.
Our herd is also inspected annually to make sure we’re living up to USDA organic standards. The cows cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics of any kind, and they must have traditional access to fresh air and sunshine. They have to be free to graze in pasture for what’s called ruminants – in other words, they have to be able to chew their cud! Our organic cows have 120 acres of green pasture to roam in.
One more thing
In addition to USDA certification, Shamrock Farms organic dairy products are certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI), an independent nonprofit organization that certifies our product handling from the field to your grocer’s shelf. QAI certification documents the authenticity of our organic farming and is just one more level of assurance for our customers.