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Organic dairy farmers vow to compete in changing industry

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) -- Small family operated organic dairy farms with cows freely grazing on verdant pastures are going out of business while large confined animal operations with thousands of animals lined up in assembly-line fashion are expanding.

Many traditional small-scale organic farmers are fighting to stay in business by appealing to consumers to look closely at the organic milk they buy to make sure it comes from a farm that meets the idyllic expectations portrayed on the cartons.

The Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute, a nonprofit farm policy public interest group, is launching an updated Organic Dairy Scorecard to help consumers choose among 160 organic dairy brands.

Another group, the Organic Farmers Association, has created the Real Organic Project, hoping to create an additional packaging label to tell consumers that the products meet traditional organic standards.

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