Livestock Answers  |  Resources & Research  |  From the Organic Broadcaster

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Livestock Fact Sheets:

1. Organic Poultry Production: Eggs
2. Organic Poultry Production: Meat
3. Pasture and Living Conditions for Organic Ruminant Animals
4. Protect Livestock in Hot Weather
5. Transitioning to Organic Beef Production
6. Transitioning to Organic Dairy Production
7. Transitioning to Organic Sheep and Goat Dairy Production
8. Transitioning to Organic Sheep and Goat Meat Production


Ask An Organic Specialist: Livestock Answers

I read your article on sprouted barley fodder, and I would like to know if I have to use certified organic barley seed to do this?

Answer by Organic Specialist Joe Pedretti:

Yes, you must use 100% certified organic seed to grow any sprouted fodder used to feed organic animals. Sprouted fodder falls under the 100% certified organic feed requirement and not the crop seed exemption for commercial availability. The USDA National Organic Program recently clarified to all the certifiers that any seed used to produce sprouted fodder must be certified organic.

Can you help me find an organic meat processing plant near my farm?

Answer by Organic Specialist Joe Pedretti:

The scarcity of certified organic meat proces­sors in the Midwest is one of the biggest issues facing the organic industry. The recent loss of the organic processor Premier Meats in southwest Wisconsin has brought this issue to the forefront. There are very few certified meat processors left in Wisconsin and only two of them handle poultry. The lack of certified plants places organic farmers at an economic disadvantage. Either we are unable to label our products as organic, or are forced to raise prices due to the greater distance and time to haul and process our animals.

I encourage you to ask meat processors near you to consider adding organic certification to their services. The rapid growth in consumer demand represents real opportunity to expand clientele and services. Processors can learn more from MOSES or the Organic Processing Institute (

I’ve compiled a list of certified organic meat processing plants in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Many of these are included in our Organic Resource Directory. Farm­ers in other states can find a certified organic processor by searching the USDA website (, select “handling” and your state for a list).


Black Earth Meat Market
1345 Mills St., Black Earth, WI 53515
608-767-3940 |

Weber Processing Plant (beef, hogs)
725 N. Jackson St., Cuba City, WI 53807
608-744-2159 |

Sonday Produce, LLC (poultry)
E870 Highway 54, Waupaca, WI 54981
715-572-1477 |

Pete’s Meat Service, LLC (beef, pork, sheep)
1665 Main St., Rudolph, WI 54475

Springbrook Meats, LLC (beef)
N3485 810th St., Elk Mound, WI 54739

Twin Cities Pack (poultry)
5607 East County Hwy J, Clinton, WI 53525
608-676-4428 |


Halal Food Processors
900 66th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404
319-366-8327 |

Amend Packing Co (beef)
410 S.E. 18th St., Des Moines, Iowa 50317
515-265-1618 |

Lpb, Inc.
220 W. 1st St., Earlham, Iowa 50072
515-758-9545 |

Premium Iowa Pork, LLC (pork)
108 First Ave. S., Hospers, Iowa 51238
712-752-8666 |


Northern Pride Inc. (turkeys)
401 S. Conley Ave., Thief River Falls, MN 56701
218-681-1201 |

Kb Poultry Processing LLC (poultry)
15024 Sandstone Drive, Utica, MN 55979
507-932-9901 |

Ledebuhr Meat Processing, Inc. (beef, pork, lamb)
5645 6th St., Winona, MN 55987
507-452-7440 |

Swanson Meats, Inc. (beef)
2700 26th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55406
612-721-4411 |

Lorentz Meats (beef, poultry, hogs)
705 Cannon Industrial Blvd., Cannon Falls, MN 55009
507-263-3618 |

TFC Poultry (poultry)
103 Melby Ave., Ashby, MN 56309
218-747-2749 |


Resources & Research:


From The Organic Broadcaster:

chicken - jessiHome-grown feed can supplement poultry ration
March | April 2014

Poultry will eat many different things, and live. But, to grow efficiently and be cost-effective for egg or meat production, very specific nutritional needs must be met. Read more here.


Langmeier field day 003

Feeding flaxseed to cows offers multiple benefits
March | April 2014

Introducing ground flaxseed as a dietary component for organically managed cows may have a three-fold benefit. Read more here.


E Scenic DCPManage dry period for healthy, productive female ruminants
January | February 2014

With dairy cows, goats and ewes the goals are healthy, productive mothers that deliver vigorous offspring, milk well…. Read more here.


Butchering Beef bookNew books provide insights into humane butchering
January | February 2014

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Adam Danforth’s two new books…. Read more here.


Compost_Bed_Fig_1Successful Winter Manure Management Using Bedded Packs
November/December 2013

With cold weather on the way, farmers with animals are setting up their winter feeding systems. Read more here.


Microsoft Word - health and management factsheet_MOSES.docxProof Positive – Impact of Organic Management on Dairy Animal Health
September/October 2013

The long-term, multistate research project aimed to identify organic management factors influencing…. Read more here.


Sierra Exif JPEGRobotic Milker Adds Flexibility to Dairy Farm Life
September/October 2013

A typical dairyperson’s life revolves around a regular twice-a-day commitment to milking cows. Read more here.


 Dairy FamilyDairy Grazing Apprenticeship: Employment and Training for the Next Generation
July/August 2013

Historically, the family has been the primary institution for providing training, experience and resources…. Read more here.


KefirGot Kefir? ‘Best Kept Secret’ for Healthy Organic Calves
July/August 2013

One of the most important keys to success in organic dairy production is the rearing of healthy calves.  Read more here.


SI ExifIntegrating Livestock with Crop Production Yields Benefits for Both
July/August 2013

Crops and livestock have historically been integrated in farming systems. However, in the last 50 years there has been a trend…. Read more here.


No SoyProof Positive – Soy-free Poultry Ration Research
July/August 2013

With the development of faster growing, high nutrient-demanding animal breeds, the high protein content and low cost of soybeans…. Read more here.


Sierra Exif JPEGSprouted Barley Fodder – A Revolution in Animal Feed?
July/August 2013

Record high grain prices and the drought of 2012 are driving up interest in alternative feeds. Read more here.


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Proof Positive – Research on Raising Dairy Steers Provides Insights
May/June 2013

With the extreme drought conditions in the Upper Midwest during 2012, many dairy producers continue…. Read more here.


212proof1Proof Positive – Are Feed Costs Lower for Wis. Grazing vs. Confined and Organic Dairy Farms?
March/April 2013

Most of us have the perception that input costs rose slowly and steadily through…. Read more here.


EQIP pastureFarmer Uses EQIP to Improve Farm, Environment – EQIP cost share funds application deadlines loom
January/February 2013

During a trip to the Farm Service Agency a couple of years ago…. Read more here.

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