Dairy cows rotational grazing
One of our darling pasture-raised dairy cows hard at work regenerating the soil.
Starting at age 2 1/2, they produce milk for 8-10 years.

We practice holistic regenerative agriculture on every acre of our USDA Certified Organic pastures. When we say “Working Cows Dairy” it means that our dairy cows are able to express their natural instinct and constantly migrate to greener pastures. Along the way, they fertilize the native grasses, trample invasive weeds, and mix CO2-trapping microbes deep into the soil. We’ve all heard that huge feedlots, overflowing manure ponds, and other disturbing industrial practices are a lead cause of climate change. But if you visit our Animal-Welfare Approved dairy farm you will find that the air is cleaner, the grass is greener, and the birds, bees, and other critters are thriving.

Grassfed dairy farm
We have no weeds, instead we call it a salad bar in the field!

While we are not scientists, some studies from regenerative farms like ours say that the cows and surrounding ecosystems are actually working to reduce greenhouse gasses in the air. These are just some of the regenerative farming practices that make Working Cows Dairy unique in the Southeast.

Rotational Grazing

Rotational grazing regenerates the pasture
We have 3-4x as much organic matter in the soil than conventional farms.

Our cows rotate pastures as soon as they have grazed most, but not all, of the previous area. This allows the regenerative process to take place before they return. The native grasses, beneficial insects, earthworms, and soil microbes all come back better than before. In contrast, most industrial cattle are continually-grazed in the same area until the land is depleted and needs to be fertilized by artificial means.

In Alabama, our temperatures are mild in the winter, which results in grasses growing year-round.
Compared to more northern states, where land lays dormant 5-6 months out of the year.

No-Till Agriculture

Looking into the organic dairy “niche” market in 2006, we realized that what we are doing as a conventional dairy was not good for the soil or the animals.

The way we farm never requires tilling the soil, which preserves the delicate ecosystem of microbes, insects, and small animals that each make an important contribution to the ecosystem. This also means that the soil microbes absorb and store CO2 taken from the atmosphere by the grass into its roots through the process of photosynthesis. Unfortunately, once the greenhouse gas is stored it can also be released if the same soil is disturbed later on. The soil under our farm is undisturbed for years at a time, which helps prevent erosion, absorbs more rainfall per acre, and keeps greenhouse gasses buried where they belong.

Native Trees, Grasses & Cover Crops

Organically fertilized pasture
Native grasses grow back since we carefully control how long the herd grazes each section.

The main principle of regenerative agriculture is to imitate the natural instinct of animals we raise for food on a farm. In Alabama, we are blessed with an abundance of native species of grass and other plants that contribute more to the ecosystem and require no artificial input to thrive. We also plant certain cover crops for the specific properties they contribute to the health of the soil.

In many ways, healthy grass means healthy cows and healthy dairy products for you to enjoy!

We Reduce Waste

Hairy Vetch improves topsoil by storing nitrogen.
Hairy Vetch fixes large amounts of nitrogen that helps meet the needs of the following crop and protects soil from erosion. (Source)

In accordance with USDA Organic standards, many of the waste products from running a dairy farm are organically composted and made into a powerful natural fertilizer for the pastures. By diverting this waste, we complete the regenerative cycle, help protect the local watershed from cancer-causing chemicals, and eliminate the use of petroleum-based artificial fertilizers. 

You Can Taste The Difference

The grasses that our cows turn into milk provide a high amount of the antioxidant Beta-Carotene, which gives our dairy products a complex flavor that is unique to our farm and a rich yellow color. Just like with fine wine, farmstead cheeses are tied to the land where they are made. They are never quite the same anywhere else in the world. We invite you to take the opportunity to try some of our artisan cheeses and butter, and please let us know the difference you can taste!