Frequently Asked Questions
On The Farm
Do your dairy products contain artificial hormones?
No, they don’t - thanks for asking! All Tillamook dairy products — cheese, butter, ice cream, sour cream, and yogurt — are made with milk from cows not treated with rBST*
*All farmers who supply milk for Tillamook products pledge not to use artificial growth hormones. The FDA has stated that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non-rBST treated cows.
Are any of your products certified organic?
At this time, we don’t offer certified organic products. We are, however, committed to making the highest quality dairy products in the most natural way possible. The milk used to make Tillamook products far exceeds state and federal quality standards and comes from cows that are not treated with artificial growth hormones.
*For more information on how TCCA cows are cared for, continue reading On the Farm FAQs.
*Please note that the FDA has stated that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non-rBST treated cows.
Are TCCA dairy cows ever treated with antibiotics?
Our dairy cows are not systematically given antibiotics. But, like humans, cows sometimes get sick and need veterinarian-prescribed antibiotics to help them get better. However, if a cow is receiving antibiotics, her milk isn’t used until tests prove that the antibiotics have cleared her system completely. As an additional precaution, every milk delivery we receive is thoroughly tested for antibiotics. If even a trace amount of antibiotics are detected in a delivery, it is disposed of and we won’t use that milk to make our dairy products.
Are the cows in barns or pastures?
It depends on the time of year and on the farm. Many of our farmer-owners in Tillamook send their herds out to pasture when the weather permits (typically March through November), but practices vary depending on each farm’s herd, land and management style. Many of our farmers also use free-stall barns to keep their cows comfortable and protected. Free-stall barns are standard in the dairy industry to accommodate climate conditions and are used on dairies owned by our farmer-owners, as well as our contract milk suppliers. In the free-stall barns, cows get daylight and fresh air, have plenty of space to eat and exercise, and they sleep on clean, dry bedding.
What do the cows eat?
Our farmers know that healthy cows produce the best quality milk. Proper animal care practices like providing a healthy diet benefits the farmer, cow, and ultimately you, the consumer. At each farm, an animal nutritionist helps the farmer customize a healthy diet of forages and grains for their cows that meets their requirements for health and milk production. The forage portion of a cow’s food is slightly different on each farm, but usually includes grass, alfalfa, and likely some corn silage. The grain portion is a mixture of grains, including corn and barley. Cows are also given a vitamin/mineral supplement to support long-term health. Our dairy farmers all have a commitment to quality, and that means taking good care of their cows and the land, because not only is it their livelihood, but it is also the right thing to do.
Are all your farms based in Tillamook, OR?
Nope! After more than 100 years and growing consumer demand for our products, we’re making more products than ever before right where it all began, and that’s in Tillamook County. But, while there’s no limit to the ingenuity, hard work and commitment of Tillamook County’s people, there is a limit to its natural resources. It’s an environmentally sensitive area and natural resources are constrained. That’s why we choose to partner with many farms of many different sizes to source the high-quality milk we use in our products. While a large dairy farm may not look the same as a much smaller one, we can assure you that every farm we work with is held to the same strict quality and animal care standards that our farmer-owners adhere to in Tillamook County. Growing our brand through strong partnerships is the way we’ve been able to sustain our farmer-owners and the farming way of life in Tillamook County for generations to come.