Industry Topics

Animal Care on Dairy Farms Fact Sheet

A cow’s health is of the utmost importance to dairy farmers, because proper animal care leads to the production of high quality milk. Nutritious diets, healthy living conditions and good medical care are all essential for a healthy herd, and these are among the many animal welfare practices routinely used by dairy farmers.

Organic Milk

The Washington Dairy Products Commission embraces the availability of both conventionally and organically produced dairy products. We believe that consumers should enjoy the greatest freedom of choice in selecting foods that appeal to them, consistent with the findings and recommendations of science.

Science tells us that conventionally and organically produced dairy products offer consumers nutritional and safety benefits that are exactly the same. Because the Washington Dairy Products Commission relies upon the advice and recommendations of qualified scientific experts, we accept this declaration as fact.

However, we also recognize that the methods used to produce organic dairy products are preferred by some consumers. We support their freedom to embrace agricultural production methods they perceive to be consistent with their values and beliefs. But from the scientific perspective, these differing production styles yield foods that are identical. Just like conventionally produced dairy products, organic dairy products are excellent sources of nine essential nutrients our bodies need every day.

Whether your preference is for conventional or organic production methods, one thing is beyond debate: the USDA's recommends three servings of milk or other dairy products every day (please visit, USDA-Consumer Information, and American Dietetic Association)


Dairy cows are subject to a variety of illnesses. When they become ill, they are sometimes treated with antibiotics - just like people when they are sick. Cows that are under antibiotic treatment are removed...More

Milk Pricing Fact Sheet


The retail price of milk can fluctuate due to changes in supply-and-demand, just like those of other grocery products. Farm-level milk prices increased during 2007 and are expected to remain relatively high in 2008 because the supply of milk has not kept pace with strong demand. However, dairy products are still one of the best buys you can make for your family’s health. 
Background Information on Dairy Pricing



Cow_and _calf_pencil-PICBovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow disease") is a neurological disease affecting cattle.  More...


Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) is a replicated version of a naturally occurring protein hormone (bovine somatotropin or bST) produced by all cows. Bovine somatotropin stimulates certain natural biological functions within a cow, including milk production. When a cow's naturally occurring bST is supplemented with additional rbST, the animal produces increased amounts of milk. For more information, please visit



"Downer" Cows

Non-ambulatory (or "downer") cows are animals which cannot walk or experience difficulty in walking due to injuries or illness. Non-ambulatory animals are banned from entering the food...More