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Don’t see an answer to your specific question? Ask Zach Myers, one of our local farmers.

Note: Dairy farmers have busy farm schedules! Questions are answered as promptly as possible, but please understand that it could take a day or two for your response.

Farming Questions & Answers

Cows on a field

Q: How much milk does a cow give each day?
A: On average, a cow will produce 6–7 gallons of milk each day.

Q: What do cows eat?
A: Cows eat about 100 pounds of feed each day, which is a combination of hay, grain and silage (fermented corn or grass). They drink a lot of water too—up to 50 gallons a day.

Q: How many breeds of dairy cattle are there?
A: There are six main breeds of dairy cows: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn.

Q: Are there hormones added to milk?
A: No. Hormones are naturally present in many foods of plant and animal origin, including milk.

Q: How and why is milk pasteurized?
A: All milk intended for direct consumption should be pasteurized—it's a matter of food safety. Pasteurization is a simple, effective method to kill potentially harmful bacteria without affecting the taste or nutritional value of milk. With standard pasteurization, milk is heated to a temperature of at least 161 degrees Fahrenheit for not less than 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling.

Q: What is rBST or BGH?
A: Bovine somatotropin (BST) is a hormone that occurs naturally in all cows, and its physiological function is to help direct milk production. Through biotechnology, scientists have created a synthesized copy of BST—known as rBST—which some dairy farmers choose to use as a milk production management tool on some cows.

Q: Are your products rBST free?
A: Yes. Based on consumer’s demands, dairy farmers that supply Maola have agreed to not use rBST on their cows.

Q: Are there antibiotics in milk?
A: No. All milk—both regular and organic—is tested for antibiotics. Milk is tested several times before it ever ends up on the grocery store shelves. Farmers take the first step on their farm to ensure that any milk from cows treated with antibiotics does not end up in the food supply. Every truck load of milk shipped from every dairy farm in the United States is tested for antibiotics and for other quality measures. If the milk does not meet the federal quality standards, it is discarded - never to reach your family.

Q: Why do farmers treat cows with antibiotics?
A: Sometimes, cows get sick, just as some humans do. Without proper medical care, the cows would become seriously ill or die. So, it is simply humane to treat them—and make them well again with medications prescribed by veterinarians. If a cow is treated with antibiotics, she is kept in a separate pen or milking group. The milk from that cow is disposed of, and does not reach the food supply.

Q: Are there pesticides in milk?
A: No. Stringent government standards ensure that all milk is safe, pure and nutritious. The most recent government testing found that all of the milk samples tested were found to be completely free from pesticide residue.

Q: How do you ensure that the animals are well cared for on your owners’ farms?
A: Maola’s farmer-owners know that quality milk comes from healthy and well-cared for cows. Moala’s farmers provide routine health care, a nutritious diet and proper sanitation procedures for milking to ensure their animals produce wholesome, nutrient-rich dairy products. In addition, Maola’s farmers are proud supporters and participants in National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program(tm). FARM is a nation-wide, verifiable program that addresses animal well-being. The dairy industry has an excellent track record of responsible management practices; this effort simply brings consistency and uniformity to on-farm care and provides reassurance to our consumers.

Q: How are newborn calves cared for?
A: Dairy farmers provide comfortable, safe and hygienic conditions for both mother and calf during the birthing process and afterward. Because dairy farmers care about the health of their calves, the calves are placed into separate living quarters shortly after birth to control their environment and protect their health. Since newborn calves need time to build up their immune systems, it’s better that they aren’t around older animals—and the possible germs those animals could pass along. Shortly after birth, newborn calves receive two quarts of colostrum—the mother’s first milk after giving birth. Colostrum is high in fat and protein and contains lots of antibodies that help strengthen the calf’s immune system. When calves are left to nurse their mothers, they usually don’t receive enough colostrum on their own. That’s why dairy farmers often step in and feed them colostrum from a bottle.

Q: Are Maola’s farmers considered large, corporate-owned “factory farms?”
A: No. Of the 55,000 dairy farms in America today, most are smaller farms with less than 200 cows. In fact, 98 percent of American dairy farms, including larger farms, are family-owned and operated. At Maola and within Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, the average farm size is 150 cows. Please remember that some are larger and some are smaller, nearly all of them are familyowned and run enterprises. Dairy farming is a very diverse industry, and there is room for all sizes of dairy farms.