Many people who know I'm into nutrition automatically assume everything I buy is organic. Which is not the case. Buying local is way more important than buying organic. Milk is a perfect example.
We buy raw milk that the girls and I drink and then hubby buys pasteurized milk for himself. It's not that he doesn't love raw milk, but it's so extremely expensive, we try to keep a mix. We also buy half-n-half for our coffee. But we don't buy organic - raw or pasteurized.
Sadly, Horizon Organic (owned by Dean Foods) is the largest producer of organic milk. Notice their products are ULTRA-pasteurized? It's because their "organic" cows are being treated about as well as their non-organic cousins. They get a smidge more room and are fed organic grains, but they're still smashed into miles of open warehouses, stepping in their own rivers of poo, breathing in heavy amounts of ammonia (sad attempts to keep the place clean and cover the feces stench). Many of the animals are sick (from being fed grain when they need grass and then living in their own pathogen/parasite infested poop) and they have vets standing by to monitor their status. Factory Farms regularly give antibiotics (mixed into their food) because of their horrible living conditions to keep them alive. If you treat organic animals the same way, but cannot give them antibiotics, that breeds massive infection. So they must "ultra-pasteurize" the milk because it's so full of pathogens. The photos you see online of happy cows at pasture are BEFORE they're sold to Horizon for milk production. Horizon loves to highlight this to downplay what happens to the animals as soon as they step onto one of Horizon's facilities.
In this case, local is more important than organic. Sunshine Dairy is our favorite (second to raw). They bring in milk from individual farmers in the area - the individual farmers insure loving care and quality and most focus on sustainable farming practices. Antibiotics are only used to save the life on an animal. Once better, the animal is repeatedly tested for antibiotic residue before re-introducing it back into the herd for milk production. The milk is not ultra-pasteurized and from what I've read on their website, exceeds state guidelines. THIS is more important to me than any expensive USDA Organic label.