"I saw how much war and sanctions had affected my people. I saw an Iraqi state of mind that was damaged beyond repair," Rasouli remembered. "The people had been deprived of basic needs because of the first Gulf war, the sanctions and now the beginning of the second war. When I returned to Minneapolis I couldn't function. I knew I had to go back."
Or George Siemon, the "Organic Rebel," from the "Community Builders" chapter. Having observed the business model of corporate America in general, and large agribusiness farms in particular, he set out to make a "better alternative" by creating the Organic Valley farmer-owned cooperative. Located in the Kickapoo River Valley of Wisconsin, it started with just seven organic farmers and has now grown to more than 750 farmer-owners.
I feel like I'm back in school. My homework — I've been spending quite a bit of time researching organic milk and dairy farms. You may have seen the response from Judy Barbe (“‘Regular' milk is fine, too”) to my Dec. 2 article in support of organic milk. After reading Judy's response, I decided to contact Organic Valley and organic dairy farmer, Tyler Webb, for some help. Not only did they provide great insight into why organic is better for the people and the environment, they turned me on to scientific evidence via The Organic Center and Charles Benbrook
Faribault County farmers Andy and Kirsten Lorenz earned the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award.
The award was announced Nov. 20 at the 92nd annual Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting.
The couple have an 80-cow organic dairy and they market their milk to Organic Valley. They operate 250 acres, raising corn, soybeans and alfalfa. They also rotationally graze the dairy herd. They grow almost all their own feed.
Voted Processor of the Year by Dairy Foods Magazine.
Preston resident Ellis Roberts has been inducted to the Idaho Dairy Hall of Fame.
He began grass farming some 15 years ago. About five years ago, he got a contract to ship organic milk through Dairy Farmers of America to Organic Valley. Roberts said he and his son milk about 200 cows
Right away, I liked Organic Valley's “Our cow's love pasture!” approach to explaining why organic is better. Of course, many companies have mastered the art of persuasion with fancy language and graphics on product labels. However, this particular carton was full of educational information and facts.
Organic Valley boasts a grassroots campaign of teaching the consumer how to wear the smart-shopper hat and ask questions about the products they invest in. The company pats you on the back by saying “Congratulations for choosing products produced without antibiotics, synthetic hormones and persistent pesticides.” They go on to show you how buying organic milk is a win-win for the “soil, bees, cows, communities, the planet, the whole thing.”
In the face of this need, it’s great that local farmers such as Todd E. Huffman grow Organic Valley products right here in La Crosse. We need to take advantage of our local farmers to spread the wealth of the delicious organic foods that they grow. Organic Valley and other organic farms enable a healthy human livelihood by providing quality products that help to maintain the healthy lifestyle we need.
Remember, every time we stand in the checkout line we are voting for the type of food to survive, whether it is processed or organic.
For Russ Cary and a number of other Vermont farmers, the dairy business is looking up.
The Bridport dairy farmer milks 130 cows on the four-year-old Cary Family Farm. Last week Cary signed a contract with the Organic Valley milk cooperative. In recent months, Organic Valley and Horizon Organic, the two organic dairy processors that buy from Vermont farmers, have begun seeking new farms to add to their rosters.
According to federal organic standards, it will take one year for Cary to transition his herd, during which time he will feed it only organic grain but continue to sell his milk on the conventional market. Next November, Organic Valley will begin buying his milk.
Brown is the first Organic Valley farmer in the county to lend his likeliness to the co-op's newly redesigned milk carton.
Now people throughout the Northwest are having breakfast with Brown, grandkid Faith, and a cuddly little calf.
The co-op has seven other farmers in the county, more throughout the Northwest, and eventually they'll all appear on the cartons - different producers representing 1 percent and 2 percent milk - not unlike sports heroes on boxes of Wheaties.
Johan Doornenbal, 18, is the third generation of his Dutch-heritage family to live and work on a dairy farm, and he wants mid-valley families to learn more about where their food comes from — especially organically grown food and dairy products.
That’s why he recently joined a half-dozen other young farmers and agriculture supporters from across the country on a tour of college campuses throughout the northeast. The Generation Organic “Who’s Your Farmer?” tour was sponsored by Organic Valley, a cooperative based in La Farge, Wis., that represents nearly 1,700 farmers in 33 states.
Doornenbal spent Oct. 11-16 traveling in a specially painted biodiesel and vegetable-oil powered converted school bus, grilling cheese sandwiches and handing out samples of organic-based foods to students at Harvard, Yale and Brown universities and Bennington and Williams colleges.