A group of young organic farmers stopped at Bennington College Tuesday to talk with students about the importance of understanding where the food they eat comes from and the benefits of eating organic.
The event, which included one-on-one discussions, games, information about organic farming and a presentation, was part of Organic Valley's Generation Organic 2010 "Who's Your Farmer?" tour that's hitting campuses across the Northeast on its way to the nation's capital.
A crop of young farmers is hitting the road to spread word about sustainable agriculture - among them Coos Bay residents Kelly Mahaffy and Tuesday Reed.
Mahaffy owns River Bend Jerseys with her husband Pete. Reed is their employee. They are members of the nation's largest cooperative of organic farmers, Organic Valley.
Organic Valley is sending a busload of 120 farmers to the concert. You'll recognize them by their "Who's Your Farmer?" T-shirts.
"It's like a wave is building," Holm said. "Willie Nelson threw a pebble into the water - it started as a cry in the wilderness - but then there was the rise of the co-op model for grocery stores, the Slow Food movement, and revitalizing school lunch programs."
In 1985, Americans wanted to support farmers but didn't know how, she said.
Organic Valley is a farmer-owned co-op with 1,652 farm families nationwide and the only organic co-op in the Pacific Northwest, with 51 participating farms in Oregon and Washington. Each year, Organic Valley offers its buyers a tour of one of its farms. This year's Pacific Northwest tour took place Sept. 22 at Moore's Dairy on Kelso Road in Boring, one of six plants in Oregon and Washington that bottle Organic Valley milk.
Organic Valley, the nation's largest cooperative of organic farmers, is planning a $6.1 million expansion of its La Farge headquarters. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Thursday that the co-op says it will also add 100 jobs over the next three years. The company says in a news release that the co-op expects to break ground in November and complete its expansion in June 2011.
Organic Valley currently employs 525 people, mostly at the La Farge headquarters. Expansion plans call for adding a 33,000-square-foot building to Organic Valley's existing 50,000-square-foot headquarters, which is six years old.
For many years, Titonka farmer Brian Bartelt tried to figure out how to make his 80 acres of land profitable.
However, in 1999 he finally found his niche crop — organic corn and oats. He added organic beef to the mix about six years ago.
Most of his beef goes to Organic Valley in Wisconsin, which then sells it in stores. Some of it he sells locally.
Omega-3s are fats essential to brain development and continued brain health, vision, prevention of cardiovascular disease, and normal growth and development throughout childhood. However, they are not produced in the body, nor are they found in many foods. Fatty fish are an excellent source off omega-3s, but fatty fish are not on most kids' after school snack menus. However, there are other sources of omega-3s, such as Omega-3 Milk from Organic Valley.
Organic Valley eggs are not associated with the egg recall that has been reported in the news recently. There is no need to dispose of Organic Valley eggs that are within the expiration or sell-by dates printed on the carton.
"Toxic chemical reform is imperative to the environment and human health. When today's babies are recorded with over 200 contaminants in their blood at birth, we know it is time for reform. Yet, we cannot achieve it alone. The public must demand that our legislators and chief policy makers give us the tools that will protect our bodies and the environment. In collaborating in this effort, and banding together with other sustainable businesses, we in turn support our 1,600 farmer owners and their families who choose to farm organically," according to George Siemon, CEO and founding farmer, Organic Valley.
De la Bruere’s expansion comes at a time when retail sales of organic milk are rebounding. At the start of the month, Organic Valley, a Wisconsin-based cooperative to which de la Bruere belongs, removed a 7 percent production cut imposed on farmers in 2009, allowing them to increase production at will. The buyer has not raised milk prices, but farmers can increase their income by making more milk.
De la Bruere’s herd of 75 cows produces about a ton of milk a day, most of which ends up in products made at Stonyfield Farm in New Hampshire. He fixed-up his farm — about $20,000 worth of work — with some financial aid through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program. A young man at his church in Essex Junction helped him lay 2 miles of perimeter fence in June.