Happy & Healthy Cows Make the Best Whey
The Best Grassfed Whey - Why?
We believe our cows' quality of life directly translates into producing the highest quality grassfed milk, which is evident within our whey. Our farms yield the best grass-fed milk because our farms work day in and day out, ensuring the highest standards of care are met and exceeded when it comes to keeping our grass-fed herds happy. Happy cows produce the highest quality dairy; this is a fact.
Our cows spend most of their lives outdoors (~90% of the year driven most by inclement weather), enjoying Ireland's clean & fresh gulf stream air. The temperate climate keeps them in nature and out of forced ventilation, too often leading to the spread of unnecessary infection and associated stresses.
Compared to the typical nutrient-rich grain-fed and USDA Organic cows milked up to four times a day, our grass-fed cows attend the milking parlor twice daily. Not only does this reduce stress on each individual cow, but it also drastically reduces the chances of logistical injuries.
Common Sense - The Body Works Best When It's Happy!
The findings and studies are endless, and it only makes sense; our bodies operate best when stresses are low, our physiological needs met, and the stability of these needs achieved. Milk producing animals are no different and drastically impacted by their stress levels.
Unlike global dairy factories (CAFOs - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), our animals live full lives, often 20+ years. We've found consistency is critical when it comes to the quality cultivation & production of milk.
Our operation ensures our animals ALWAYS have a line of sight to food, water, bedding, and, most importantly, each other; they bask daily in a predictable and safe routine.
Producing the best grass-fed whey was not, and is not by chance, but rather the result of finding significance in our passion & philosophy around sourcing whey the right way.
Learn More: CAFOs Explained
Small Herds with Big Bonds
Our cows grow old in small herds on small family farms. Each cow is known by name, by their caretakers. The largest family farm in our grassfed farm network is less than 80 cows.
The dairy farming craft's present-day expression passed down through generations of masters and animals living and growing together in an all-but-lost symbiotic art.
Animal welfare is genuinely at a premium on Irish farms. Our cows enjoy a slow, predictable routine tended by familiar stewards on each farm.
A low-stress lifestyle ensures the consistency of a high-quality nutrient-dense grassfed whey and represents AGN Roots' power.
Animal Welfare Standards
Dairy cows are docile creatures who enjoy walking short distances at a time. Smaller farms mean the cows walk a shorter stretch from grazing to the milking parlor.
This practice is critical to ensuring comfort and lowers the risk of injury. Natural sunlight and mist-soaked strolls on the soft soil (versus concrete on conventional farms) keep cows at ease and reduce undue strain on their bodies.
AGN Roots Grass-Fed whey is exclusively sourced from dairy farms that have earned Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) certification by A Greener World (non-profit). As of 2021, AGN Roots is the only Grass-Fed Whey protein that has achieved a spot on the ASPCA's #shop-with-your-heart registered brand list. AWA certification by A Greener World represents the only "Entire-Life" on pasture-based animal welfare certification.
Learn More: Animal Welfare Approved by AGW
Grass-Fed Dairy Standards
Our cows dine on a diet of at least 95% grass with a little added clover for nutrition. This other 5% or less comes from concentrates (fermented ensilage from our pastures - Ryegrass) to enhance specific nutrients for our cows at critical stages in the year, such as late gestation and early lactation, akin to what we do for our health as humans.
We are proud to claim > 95% grassfed on pasture. As of late 2019, Bord Bia, Ireland's national food board, published the world's 1st nationalized dairy grass-fed standard. The standard mandates that the Irish government comprehensively regulates all products claiming to be from "grass-fed" dairy farms to ensure a minimum of 90% grass-fed during regular audits.
This nationally enforced law exposes the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA) in the United States for the non-existent label claim standards for dietary supplements, especially whey.
In the U.S.A.,> 99% of all powder protein tubs originate from CAFOs while claiming grass-fed origins. Until new legislation passes, supplement brands that operate under the DSHEA will continue to take advantage and saturate the market with expertly flavored low-quality whey.
Learn More: 100% Grass-Fed Whey
Who Makes the Best Whey Protein?
A happy ruminant on a lifetime diet of grass, free from stress and well took care of, by far has the most potential for making the best whey protein possible.
By design, ruminants turn organic grasses into milk chock-full with proteins and fats. Cows are ruminants, which means their stomachs have four compartments. Diets of corn, cereals, and concentrate feed can cause dietary upset for ruminants, whereas grass provides a highly digestible and nutritionally complete form of nourishment.
Adding small amounts of clover to their diet further facilitates consistent digestive health. Science shows that milk protein yield & content increase linearly as the ratio of a dairy cow's intake of fresh grasses to corn silage (feed) increases. The logic is as follows -
- Better Diet (More Grass)
- Happier Gut
- Highest Quality Milk Possible
- Yields the The Best Grassfed Whey Possible
A Rumen stomach prefers a grass diet over all others. The grasses work with the four chambers that make up the ruminant's gut (Reticulum, Rumen, Omasum, and Abomasum) and optimizes best the chemicals needed to turn organic plant tissue into concentrated proteins and fats.
The efficiency of a ruminant stomach on a grassfed diet is unrivaled. The concentration of nutrient density (whey protein fractions) produced within the milk significantly outperforms a cow forced fed on a TMRS - Total Mixed Ration System (i.e., concentrates, feeds, corn silage, etc.).
Learn More: What Are Protein Fractions
In North America, TMRS systems are the most commonly used on dairy farms with feedlots. The geography of the USA simply doesn't compete with the likes of a New Zealand or Ireland when it comes to the ability to grow and sustain lush grasses year-round to supply an unabated demand for delicious grassfed milk.
Weaver, Samantha R, et al. "Elevation of Circulating Serotonin Improves Calcium Dynamics in the Peripartum Dairy Cow in: Journal of Endocrinology Volume 230 Issue 1 (2016)." Journal of Endocrinology, Bioscientifica Ltd, 5 Aug. 2018, joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/230/1/105.xml.
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The linear relationship between the proportion of fresh grass in the cow diet, milk fatty acid composition, and butter properties. J Dairy Sci. 2006 Jun;89(6):1956-69
A comparison between feeding systems (pasture and TMR) and the effect of vitamin E supplementation on plasma and milk fatty acid profiles in dairy cows. J Dairy Res. 2005 Aug;72(3):322-32.