Pittsfield, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - It was a beautiful afternoon and local organic farmers took advantage and went for a walk, a pasture walk.
"It's a social thing to come and see and hear what other farmers are doing and how they can apply those things that they are learning," said Heather Donahue who hosted the pasture walk along with her husband.
Local university professors were also in attendance and swapped tips for how farmers can get the most out of their land.
Professor Rick Kersbergen with the University of Maine works with the research team, "Our project looks at how to maximize the resource farmers can get from pastures. It's a free resource in a sense because the cows are doing all the harvesting."
The Donahues own Balfour Farm in Pittsfield where they produce organic milk, cheeses and yogurt. They have seen the advantages of the USDA research.
"Our cows are out on pasture as soon as grass greens in the spring and we keep them out there as late as we can in the fall," said Donahue.
Research shows cows that feed on green grass produce better milk with healthy fats.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, organic dairy has grown in popularity and the demand for organic milk continues to rise. In order to better the production of such products the USDA gave a 2.4 million dollar grant for field research which is based at the University of New Hampshire.
The USDA hopes the research helps both improve the product and marketability of organic dairy.