Jesse Meerman is a 5th generation dairyman in Coopersville, Michigan. He is part of Grassfields dairy as well as owner of Green Pastures cow boarding, with his wife Betsy.
In 1991, Grassfields, LLC adopted intensive grazing methods of the dairy herd, rather than conventional, confinement farming. Most farms in the United States operate under confinement styles of farming, where the cows live inside the barns for their entire lifetimes (which is often only 3 years!). Cows in confinement are brought all of their feed, rather than forage and graze for themselves in green pastures. Cows that are given the opportunity to forage not only live longer (10 or more years), but are much healthier and fertilize the soils for us. Doesn't this just make sense???
In May of 2007, the dairy herd and farmland was certified Organic, by Global Organic Alliance. Most of the land had been farmed organically several years prior. Hormones, such as BST, have not been given to the herd in over a decade. The dairy also meet Grade A standards and is inspected by the Department of Agriculture regularly.
In spring of 2005, Green Pastures was initiated in order to provide families with fresh, unprocessed milk. While it is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in the state of Michigan, selling cow shares to individuals and families is legal and programs around the state are in operation. Many of them operate under the standards outlined by MI Fresh Milk Counsel.