How do your dairies manage manure?
All Clover dairies have manure management plans and sustainably recycle 100% of manure. Manure management plans include preventing application of more nutrients than a farm’s soil can absorb and making sure it’s applied when it won’t easily run off. Liquids are stored in ponds and applied to pastures and/or crops for soil fertilization at agronomic (good for soil) rates. Solids can be composted and used as a soil enhancement (also supports carbon sequestration) or dried and used as bedding
What are your mating practices?
It varies by farm. Most people use artificial insemination because they are able to improve the health and milk production of future generations through proven genetics. Most dairies work closely with a breeder - someone who works for a mating company who is trained to identify the proper bulls to ensure the safety and health of the mother and calf.
What are the calves fed?
Conventional dairies feed either milk or milk replacer. Milk replacer is the equivalent of feeding your baby formula instead of breast milk – it’s a personal choice. All organic dairies feed their calves milk as there is very little organic milk-replacer available.
What are the five freedoms of Animal Welfare, as defined under AHA?
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst, 2. Freedom from discomfort, 3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease, 4. Freedom from fear and distress, 5. Freedom to express normal behaviors
How are cows cared for on the farms? What does the AHA certification mean?
At Clover, we have held a longstanding belief in the humane treatment of animals. So much so that we were the first dairy ever certified by the American Humane Association (AHA).
What makes AHA Certified farms different:
- Zero tolerance of Animal Abuse
- A safe environment for each animal
- Extensive employee training
- A herd health plan overseen by a veterinarian and nutritionist
- Annual farm audits
- Strict adherence to the five freedoms of animal welfare
How are your cows milked?
The cows are milked by a machine. Machine milking is actually the best, most humane way to milk a cow; the pulsing, rest phase, and vacuum levels are very carefully calibrated. They’re also typically cleaner than human hands, preventing potential bacteria from spreading from cow to cow. The machines also sense when the milking is complete.
Where are your cows located?
All of the cows that produce Clover milk come from the 30 family-owned and operated farms that we partner with. These farms are scattered about in beautiful Northern California, primarily in Sonoma and Marin Counties.
Are your cows out on pasture?
Absolutely. Our Clover cows are out on pasture as many days a year that weather permits. Luckily, here in Northern California, that’s quite a lot!
What do your cows eat?
The nutrition provided by the pasture is the main source of feed for our cows. When the grass dries up, or the pasture is too wet - it is only humane to bring the additional nutritional needs directly to the cows. Our dairies harvest their grasses when they are growing rapidly in the spring and turn them into silage, and hays. Then, they feed the preserved forages to the cows during other parts of the year. However, our cows will also need some additional nutrition at certain times of the year so the dairies add other forages (hays) and some more concentrated feeds for the carbohydrate requirements that are not available in the forages. Those concentrated feeds could be almond hulls, rice bran, cottonseed meal, corn, soy, distiller’s grains, wheat, and beet pulp.
What do you do with the bull calves?
In accordance with American Humane Standards, we care for all of our calves (male or female) in the same manner. This includes a stable and healthy start on milk that is rich with colostrum. They are then taken to a dry, warm, protected environment where they can be closely monitored to make certain that they are getting the proper amount of food and are not showing any signs of illness. After the male calves are stable and well, they are then moved to farms that specialize in raising bulls.
How long do calves get to stay with their mothers?
At Clover, our calves are cared for with the utmost attention from the moment they're born. Always within sight and sound of other calves, we ensure newborn calves are away from danger. Our dairy farms are audited and certified by the American Humane Association (AHA) which requires that our calves be taken to a warm protected area shortly after birth, where they are closely monitored to receive the proper amount of colostrum and ensure they don't show any signs of illness. Once our calves have been given the "green light" they enter a group pen with other calves. Each calf is very important to us, which is why we strive to keep them as safe, healthy, and, as protected as possible.
Do you offer tours of your farms or facilities?
At this time, we do not offer public tours of our facilities and our family farmers do not offer tours of their independently owned farms. If you’d like to learn more about the relationship we have with our family farmers, please click here
. If you’d like to learn more about our facilities as it relates to social and environmental impact, please click here