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The World’s ‘Greenest’ Cow!

This is one pretty outstanding cow. Besides setting world records, this Wisconsin dairy cow is helping the environment too!

cow

Photo: naoK (flickr)

Is 'organic' always greener? Maybe not when it comes to cows!

And the world-champion milk production award goes to… Every-Green-View My 1326-ET!

MOOOOre Milk Please!

According to the Holstein Association USA, in one year, this cow produced 72,168 pounds of milk! That’s 8,400 gallons, averaging about 23 gallons per day. In comparison, the average dairy cow produces about 6.5 gallons per day.

How is she able to do this? Magic? Luck? Is this like the goose that laid the golden egg?

Not exactly. Ever-Green-View My 1326-ET’s success as a dairy cow is mainly a result of expert genetic selection, good management, and state-of-the-art milking technologies, like rBST. And yes, maybe a little luck too.

Go Ahead, Drink Green Milk

Ample milk production is great for Oreo-lovers, but what’s so ‘green’ about it?

With increasing pro-organic and environmental debates, scientists have been studying the benefits of inorganic dairy cows, like Ever-Green-View My 1326-ET. Organic farms have restrictions on cattle feed, hormones, antibiotics, and embryo transplants are prohibited. Ever-Green-View My 1326-ET was born via a surrogate mother.

One study from Cornell University examined the environmental benefits of having fewer cows who can produce more milk. Compared to 1944, before genetic technology was common, it now takes 1/3 of the cows to make nearly twice as much milk! This results in 25% less manure produced per gallon of milk and a 50% decrease in methane emissions, which reduces green house gases!

Another study showed that inorganic milk has the same nutritional benefits of organic.

However, the number of organic farms (though small) is growing due to an increased demand for organic milk. Some prefer organic milk for taste, purity (hormone-free), and the guaranteed grazing time for the animals.

Ever-Green-View My 1326-ET gets the best of both worlds. Although raised with inorganic technologies, she grew up on a family-owned dairy farm and is free to graze all the Wisconsin grass she can eat.

Read More

  • Press Release: Wisconsin Cow Sets New National Milk Production Record (HolsteinUSA)
  • Environmental Impact of Dairy Production: 1944 compared to 2007 (JournalofAnimalScience)
  • Milk: Let the Buyer Beware (FoodLink)

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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