Our farmer-owners insist on working with best-in-class business partners only, including other dairy operations. This is how we ensure our products are not only delicious, but they’re also made the right way.
That’s why nearly 20 years ago we partnered with a large, innovative dairy farm, Columbia River Dairy at Threemile Canyon Farms, located near our second cheesemaking facility in Boardman, Oregon. Nationally recognized for its environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture, Threemile Canyon Farms has 30,000 dairy cows, 93,000 acres and 300 full-time workers, all led by a fifth generation Oregonian.
Threemile Canyon Farms uses this scale as an advantage to adopt more sustainable practices, such as:
- providing regular staff trainings on the latest animal welfare best practices;
- collecting and analyzing detailed cow nutrition data to provide for optimum health for their herd; and
- installing an advanced irrigation system (water from the barn is recycled seven times!)
This scale also provides opportunities for team members, including career advancement into manager roles, health benefits, and paid vacation.
Threemile Canyon Farms has also created a closed-loop farm, which means the dairy and crop farms continually sustain and improve one other, so nothing goes to waste, not even cow poop.
Cow manure is sent to an on-site methane digester that converts waste into energy. This powers the dairy farm and creates a nutrient that goes back into crops, which in turn feeds the cows.
In these and many other ways, Threemile Canyon Farms emphasizes continuous improvement in all aspects of its business.
An independent and rigorous audit conducted recently at Columbia River Dairy by the nationally recognized Validus Dairy Animal Welfare Expert Committee resulted in the first-ever 100% score for a dairy operation. Columbia River Dairy, our member farmers and all our contract suppliers know that quality milk comes from quality animal care, and you cannot have one without the other. The incentive to provide exceptional care to our cows comes down to both good conscience and good business.
Growing the Tillamook brand through strong partnerships enables us to sustain our farmer-owners and the farming way of life in Tillamook County for future generations. It also allows us to create more jobs, invest back in the communities where we live and work, and to grow in a responsible way, so that more people in more places can enjoy our delicious, high-quality dairy products.