U of M-Morris to be only Midwest organic dairy research center

Better late than never, meh? The West Central Research and Outreach Center near the U's campus at Morris is going organic. Apparently, this remains a novel concept in the world of dairy research, as a University of Minnesota article says the conversion of half of its 170-head herd of dairy cattle to organic production will make it one of just three facilities in the country to do so, and the only one in the Midwest.

"[B]ecoming certified as an organic dairy requires more intense documentation, record keeping, and inspections," the article says. "The rest of the certification process involves ensuring that grazing lands have met organic standards for at least three years." The whole herd will meet organic standards by November of this year.

In cow context, the article says, "Organic management means not using antibiotics or synthetic drugs or hormones ... along with restrictions on what [they] eat and their living conditions." Oh, yeah, and the money ain't bad either. Organics = cash cow. Heh.

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