USDA Publishes Origin of Livestock Rule for Organic Dairy

USDA has published the Origin of Livestock (OOL) final rule for organic dairy, a change to the USDA organic regulations to ensure that organic dairy products are produced according to consistent standards. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “The Origin of Livestock final rule provides clear and uniform standards about how and when livestock may be transitioned to organic dairy production, and how transitioned animals are managed within the organic dairy system.” Specifically, the rule allows a dairy livestock operation transitioning to organic, or starting a new organic farm, to transition non-organic animals one time. It also prohibits organic dairies from sourcing any transitioned animals. Once a dairy is certified organic, animals must be managed as organic from the last third of gestation. Variances may be requested by small businesses for specific scenarios.