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You Asked...

Informing consumers is important to us. Below are some questions we get a lot. If you have additional questions, reach out to us at any time! 

What is a Normande? 

Normande cattle were introduced into the US in the mid 70's.  But the colorfully red brindled cattle  originated in Normandy, France and are a dual purpose breed meaning they are both milk and meat producers.  Cross E Dairy has only used them for milk purposes but we really appreciate their dual purpose traits that make them a great fit for Wyoming's challenging environment.  We have had many dairy breeds here over the years- Jersey, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire.  While we appreciate the unique qualities of each of these breeds, the Normande cows are hearty!  They convert feed well and stay fat & happy through the winter with a warm coat of hair.  


Someday we will test their carcass merit for ourselves also.  

Normande milk quality is outstanding with high butterfat and proteins levels.  Approx 4.4% butterfat and 3.6% protein.  The breed has a high rate of the A2 protein gene, known for digestive system ease, and the B Kappa Casein gene which increases yield when making cheese.

What do Normande cows eat?

The Normande dairy girls lead a spoiled life.  They graze close to home since they are milked daily & year round and enjoy lusher grasses near Clear Creek and some of the hay meadows.  When milked they are fed rolled barley with molasses, black oil sunflower seeds, flax and always have access to clean water, salt and mineral.  There is no corn or soy in their diet.  Our own hay supply is also fed to the dairy cattle during the winter.

Is raw milk safe?

First... what is raw milk?  It's unpasteurized and unhomogenized, unaltered and straight from the cow.  


When handled properly raw milk is very safe!  Raw milk actually has a better track record, void of foodborne illness than that of pasteurized milk.  Yes, more of our country consumes pasteurized milk but it's estimated that more than 10 million people now drink raw milk! reports Death From Milk, Pasterized: 73  Raw: 0


“Illness is 35,000 times more likely from other foods that raw milk” Dr Ted Beals, MD


“Contrary to the reports that say raw milk can make you sick, it is safe to drink.  The important thing to to consider is the quality of the product and how it's made.  The cow needs to be healthy and organically raised in a pasture to help minimize the amount of toxic herbicides and pesticides.   This helps lower the risks associated with drinking raw milk”  Dr Joseph Mercola

How is the milk handled?

At Cross E Dairy we understand there are 3 important steps to safe, quality milk:


1. Healthy & happy cows- cow health is affected by environment, quality nutrition, natural healthcare practices and knowledgeable animal husbandry 

2. Sanitary milking equipment & procedures- a cows udder and the milking equipment is carefully cleaned to prevent contamination of the milk

We clip the cows udder to reduce possible contamination by excess hair cover. 

The udder is cleaned with warm, soapy water

The teats are each dipped and coated with an iodine based teat dip.  This is allowed to remain for 30 seconds. 

The teat dip is wiped off. 

Each teat is stripped or hand milked with a few squirts and the milk is visually inspected. 

The stainless steel milk machine is used for milking out the cow and a teat dip is again applied to each teat to protect the udder from contamination afterward. 


The stainless steel Surge milking machine is thoroughly washed with dairy grade soaps ideal for breaking down the fats and proteins of milk.  


We follow the recommendations for udder prep and equipment cleaning outlined by the Raw Milk Institute


3. Safe handling of milk- milk is rapidly chilled and always kept cold during transport.

Once a cow had been milked, the milk is poured through a strainer to catch any stray particles or hair.  It is directly strained into a 60 gallon stainless steel refrigerated milk tank.  This milk tank chills the milk to below 38 degrees in under an hour.  Milk remains in the tank until time to bottle in sanitized half gallon glass jars.  These jars are then put right into cooler with ice packs and transported directly to the customer or refrigerators the Cross E Freedom Food market.  


Again we follow the recommendations outlined by the Raw Milk Institute. 


We have completed a risk management training course with the Raw Milk Institute and are currently seeking certification as an RAWMI listed farm.  

Why A2?

One of the three proteins found in cow milk is the Beta Casein which can present in an A1 or A2 form.  It's simply the difference of one amino acid in the chain of 230+ but the A1 protein can cause an upsetting digestive reaction for some.   This is a topic that seems to have caught attention only several years back though was the unknown explanation as to why decades ago some turned to goats milk when a child was struggling with milk.  Goats only carry the A2 protein gene but commercial milk predominantly provided by the Holstein breed would be mainly A1 protein milk as that breed carries mostly A1 genes.  

For some who struggle with “lactose intolerance” switching to unprocessed raw milk is enough to avoid digestive stress but some do have an A1 protein allergy. 

Either way, we've got you covered!  Cross E Normande cows have all been DNA tested to carry only A2 protein genes.

What is your healthcare protocol?

We work with the same veterinarian on an annual basis to design and monitor the livestock health care program.  

Our cattle are not given hormones or antibiotics unless it is actually necessary to treat an illness and is in the best interest of their health care.   For routine healthcare, we often use natural homeopathic methods such a lice control, foot rot, etc. 

What do the beef cows eat?

When it's time to finish a beef for butcher, they are brought to a smaller pasture near our house.  We hand feed them morning and night with a ration of rolled barley & molasses and alfalfa & peas cube.  (no corn or soy.)  They also continue to graze the pasture and are fed our hay if needed.  Their location and feeding routine allows us to closely monitor their health status, eating habits and how they are growing and preparing for butcher.  Cattle aren't ready on the same schedule, so at butcher time we hand select the cattle in an effort to have the best beef for you.  


We use local processing plants in Sheridan or Buffalo which are both inspected by the USDA.  The meat is dry aged for 21 days and is butchered on a monthly basis so meat is freshly butchered and delivered to you. 

How are they raised?

Our beef cows graze pastures with native grasses dotted with sagebrush in hills surrounding Clear Creek or rougher country with draws filled with cedar trees above Powder River.  In the high dessert of Wyoming they sometimes have to be tough as our environment can change from hot, dry summers to long, cold winters but we care for them the best we can.  

They always have clean, fresh water, salt and mineral and eat the hay we raise ourselves during the winter.  We often have our hay tested to evaluate that nutritional level is adequate for winter needs

What are the benefits of ranch raised beef?

Better flavor, color and price than the grocery store!  

We know the highest quality meat comes from the highest quality animals.   

For decades we’ve managed a balance of black angus, Gelbvieh and Hereford to take advantage of the breeds’ characteristics of marbling, flavor and yield. You can also trust the cattle are ethically raised and treated with respect. And what they eat makes all the difference. Our cattle are naturally raised with no hormones or antibiotics


Grass fed and finished with grain added during the final period of preparation for butcher. There is no corn, soy or animal by products in their diet. Only fed non GMO rolled barley with molasses 


Dry aged for 21 days and USDA inspected 

What is a Nomande
What do normande cows eat?
Is raw milk safe?
How is the milk handled?
Why A2?
Health Protcol
What do beef cows eat?
Anchor 1
Benefits of ranch raised beef
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