Know Your Farmer: Local Isn’t Always Better


Just because a dairy farm is in your back yard doesn’t mean it’s the one you want to buy milk–or beef–from. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced August 31 that it’s seeking a court order against Scenic View Dairy of Hamilton, Michigan, not far from where I live. The FDA press release says that the dairy’s president and three of its managers “sold dairy cows for human consumption that contained illegal drug residues in edible tissues.”

It also alleges that “the defendants, despite numerous warnings, sold for slaughter dairy cows that were treated with drugs contrary to the drugs’ FDA-approved labeling and without a valid veterinary prescription authorizing such use. The complaint alleges that violations occurred from 2002 through 2010 at Scenic View Dairy’s three farms, located in Fennville, Freeport, and Gowen, Michigan.”

The complaint is based, in part, upon illegal neomycin, penicillin, and sulfadimethoxine drug residues that the USDA found in the edible tissue of dairy cows that defendants had offered for sale for human consumption. But FDA regulations for animal drugs include a specified time to withdraw an animal from treatment prior to slaughter so that a drug is depleted from edible tissue to levels safe for humans.

Scenic View Dairy buys cows primarily from New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Vermont and sells to slaughterhouses in other states, including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Another reason why it’s important to meet your local farmer–especially ones that raise grassfed and pastured meats–and go see the animals they’re raising for you. Ask questions. Know your farmer.

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2 responses to “Know Your Farmer: Local Isn’t Always Better

  1. wow !!!I never thought about a farm not being organic, it just make you think!

    • I think the world has become so big and food is such a commodity that we have lost that connection to earth, and farmers are part of that connection. They are the ones we need to form relationships with so we can understand where our food comes from and what they do in the growing process.
      Thanks for your comment, Ingrid!

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