Industry Pioneers Support Organic Heroes in Fight Against Climate Change At Green Festival

LaFarge, Wis.
October 12, 2009
Contact P.R. Renee Kelly
work 612-372-6472 LaFarge, Wis.

Nature's Path and Organic Valley Present Rodale Institute with Check for $50,000

Thanks to tremendous consumer involvement, Nature's Path Organic Foods and Organic Valley presented a check for $50,000 to the Rodale Institute for outreach to farmers as an organic solution to global climate change. The check was presented at a special event during the Washington, DC Green Festival, the nation's premier sustainability event.

Nature's Path and Organic Valley, two leading organic manufacturers, joined together during the last several months for the Organic Heroes initiative, which invited consumers to support organic farmers by purchasing organic products. Consumers participated in the campaign by purchasing one Organic Valley product and one Nature's Path product and then mailing in both proofs of purchase for a free subscription to Organic Gardening magazine. Organic Valley and Nature's Path contributed $1 each for every proof of purchase mailed in by consumers, for a total contribution of $50,000 for the Rodale Institute. The donation will further support the Farmers Can Be Heroes campaign (www.hero-farmers.org), which currently includes online courses, tools and information for conventional farmers interested in making the transition to organic.

"The program name "Farmers Can Be Heroes" is reinforced by our recent scientific research into the beneficial results of organic farming and its power to sequester carbon in healthy soil," says Tim La Salle, CEO of the Rodale Institute, "It's about protecting the soil to protect the planet. That is the work of heroes!"

"Working together with other leaders in the organic industry and our dedicated consumers to donate to such an important cause is something we're proud to be a part of," said Arran Stephens, CEO and founder of Nature's Path. "The Rodale Institute is at the forefront of organic education, and the work they are doing through the Farmers Can Be Heroes program is incredibly important for the future of organics, our health and the health of the planet."

Organic Heroes"Core to Organic Valley's mission is preserving family farm culture, and a cornerstone to doing that is supporting farmers looking to make the transition to organic," said George Siemon, CEO and one of the founding farmers of Organic Valley. "We're proud to join Nature's Path and thousands of loyal consumers in contributing to the Rodale Institute, a true organic pioneer and an inspiration for others dedicated to the organic movement."

"Through the Farmers Can Be Heroes program, we've not only provided an education for the farmers, but also recognized them for their hard work and value in the industry, and we're thrilled Nature's Path and Organic Valley are making such a generous donation to the program," said Tim LaSalle, PhD, CEO of Rodale Institute. "This money helps ensure we have healthier, safer food options, and will help grow the program for the future."

Executives from Nature's Path and Organic Valley presented the Rodale Institute's Tim LaSalle with the check on Sunday, October 11th at the Washington Convention Center. Consumers attending the Green Festival attended the presentation and helped celebrate this exciting step in the organic farming movement.

About Nature's Path

Founded in 1985, Nature's Path Organic Foods is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, and employs around 350 people at its four facilities in Canada and the United States. The privately held, family-owned company produces breakfast foods and snacks sold in specialty foods stores and retailers in 40 countries around the world. The company’s innovative brands include Nature’s Path®, Flax Plus, EnviroKidz®, Weil by Nature’s Path™, and Optimum®. Visit Nature's Path online at www.naturespath.com.

Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned

Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,332 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $527 million in 2008 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop and the cooperative’s farmer website, www.farmers.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter, www.twitter.com/organicvalley and Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Organic-Valley/20674850824.

About The Rodale Institute

Rodale Institute is a non-profit research and education organization focused on regenerative agriculture and its impact on health and the environment. For six decades, the Rodale Institute has demonstrated the benefits of organic farming through innovative research on its research farm, the world's largest research facility of its kind. The Institute has trained farmers throughout the country and abroad in methods that replenish the soil and sequester carbon, thereby aiding the environment, increasing nutrient density and providing drought resistance.

Most recently Rodale Institute launched a free Transition to Organics online course and provides information and expertise for farmers, policy-makers and consumers about how regenerative agriculture can help solve global warming, improve nutrition and prevent worldwide famine. www.rodaleinst.org

About Organic Gardening

Organic Gardening is the longest running sustainability media property in the USA. We were green when the world was black and white. Our visionary founder, J. I. Rodale, is widely recognized as the father of the natural food and natural living movements in America. Responsibility to the earth was the reason Rodale began publishing Organic Gardening magazine 65 years ago, and it is precisely the mission of the magazine today—creating a healthier world, one home at a time.

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Renee Kelly
Phone: 612-372-6472
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