When Bob Camozzi and his 17 siblings and cousins were kids, it was expected that they would graduate high school, get married and go into the dairy business. That’s exactly what Bob did in 1985.
Bob is a 4th generation dairyman from Sonoma County. In 1985 Bob started his own dairy, but grew dissatisfied with the conventional dairying model. After some investigation, he decided that organic agriculture would enable the family to stay on the land. In 2002, Triple C Ranch’s 910 acres became the fourth organic farm in Sonoma/Marin Counties. Today, Bob, his wife, Noreen, and 5 children all work together to produce healthy, organic dairy products.
Transitioning to organics has reaped many benefits for Triple C Ranch.
“When we were conventional, we never had cows to sell. Since we’ve been organic, we have to sell cows because they breed successfully and our calves are more vigorous. I attribute that to the fact that we’ve decreased milk production by feeding less grain protein. I’ve got ten year-old cows who are supposed to be past their prime, yet they’re still beautiful and productive. Slowing them down made them a lot healthier. I’m no rocket scientist, but I’m smart enough to know that when something works, you go with it.”
But there’s more to organic for Bob than keeping his cows in tip-top health.
“I used to be the kind of guy who worked non-stop and kept to myself. In organic, though, everybody wants to help everybody else. It brought me out of my shell. It’s been great for our family. We believe in it, our kids believe in it. We’re participating in an industry that makes sense. That’s why we went with Organic Valley. They respect organic, they respect the farmer, they operate on sound policy and they’re good people. The ten dairies here in the Two Rock area wanted to be part of a co-op that respects the industry and doesn’t want to drive it into the ground. It’s owned by farmers. These people are on our side. It feels good to have someone on your side for once.”