animal care and
Our high-quality milk supply comes from independent family-owned dairies who share our same belief about the importance of animal care and stewardship.
Dairy farmers work to continually improve cow comfort. All dairies have a veterinarian partner to assure herd health. Dairy farmers consult with dairy nutritionists so the cow has a healthy diet of forages and grains. A contented, rested and well-fed cow makes the best milk!
The dairy farm families who have Hilmar supply agreements are “LEADing” the way. Leadership in Environmental And Dairy Stewardship or LEADS is our program of continuous improvement in animal care and sustainable farming practices.
Dairy Animal Care
The foundation of the LEADS dairy animal care requirements is the national Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM™) Animal Care (AC) program. FARM AC is a nationwide, verifiable dairy animal well-being program developed in partnership with veterinarians, dairy farmers and university researchers. Through education, on-farm evaluations and objective, third-party verification, dairy farmers continually improve all areas of dairy animal care. We conduct dairy farm evaluations against the most current FARM AC version 4.0.
Dairy Farm Environmental Sustainability
The national Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM™) Environmental Stewardship (ES) program is also part of LEADS. This program uses an online assessment tool to help farmers evaluate their environmental progress relating to energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Dairy farms with supply agreements also participate in FARM ES version 2.0.