Josephine County, Ore. — A local dairy is making headlines for its changing products.
Umpqua dairy isn’t giving up on milk, but it’s going organic.
Umpqua Dairy says the certification process was a big step, but organic milk was something many customers in Oregon wanted.
“In the last few years, people really care about where their food’s coming from,” Tyler Noble, from Noble Dairy, said.
In the year 2018, a trend of organic and locally-sourced food among consumers seems to be on the rise.
Many in the dairy industry are starting to offer organic milk… including Umpqua Dairy.
“As the organic milk business became more and more important in Oregon, we started looking around for a producer,” Chief Operating Officer Steve Feldkamp said.
That producer is Noble Dairy’s Applegate Valley farm in Josephine County.
Established 46 years ago, Noble dairy transitioned into an organic dairy farm in 2004.
“We kind of sensed that that was the way things were going,” Larry Noble said.
Larry Noble is the son of the dairy’s owner.
He says you have to go through a lot of steps to becoming a certified organic farm.
“To be organic, you can’t use an penicillin… or any medications on the cows. The fields can’t be sprayed, and no fertilizers can be used,” Larry Noble said.
In addition to the fields not being sprayed for three years, the cows have to spend 12 months transitioning onto purely organic feed.
Chief Operating Officer Steve Feldkamp says Umpqua Dairy became certified to offer organic milk at the end of last year.
Now, all of Umpqua Dairy’s organic milk comes from Noble Dairy’s Josephine County farm.
“If their demand goes up, we can sell more milk to them, and we can just grow this local, organic things that’s just starting to roll,” the owner’s grandson, Tyler Noble, said.
The two have enjoyed the partnership so far, and both hope it continues.
“We’re starting out with organic milk and we hope to see this line of dairy products grow for us in the future,” Feldkamp said.
Noble Dairy is a family-run business with three generations on the farm.
The family says they are honored to be providing Umpqua Dairy with organic milk.
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