|Cows in the milking parlor at our dairy|
Dairy cows are not fed antibiotics. If a cow gets sick on our farm, she goes to the hospital pen where she receives special care and is treated with antibiotics if necessary. Milk from hospital cows is discarded.
For example, if one cow is being treated with antibiotics at our farm and her milk accidentally gets into our 4,000 gallon bulk milk tank, that entire tank load of milk will test positive for antibiotics and it will be dumped. As a result, we would not be paid for that tank load of milk and would face disciplinary action from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Contrary to mainstream news reports, there is no economic advantage to overusing antibiotics.
The U.S. milk industry has an excellent record for managing antibiotics. Under a program administered by state regulatory authorities and overseen by FDA, the U.S. dairy industry conducts nearly 4 million tests each year to ensure that antibiotics are kept out of the milk supply. Consistently, less than half a percent of samples tested positive, and in those very rare cases, the milk is not sold to the public.
Veterinarians and farmers have a shared goal of producing a safe milk supply. Just as you may be treated with antibiotics if you get sick, we sometimes treat a cow with antibiotics when she is sick. As dairy farmers, we are responsible and accountable for the use of antibiotics on our animals. These products are expensive and only used as necessary as prescribed by a veterinarian.
Every single tank load of milk entering a dairy processing plant in the United States is strictly tested for animal drug residues and disposed of if it tests positive. Therefore, no milk you purchase in the store contains antibiotics - not “regular” conventional milk, not rBST free milk and not organic milk. When you purchase dairy for your family, you can feel confident you are serving a safe and nutritious product.