Organic Valley Farmer Travis Forgues to be Featured in Concert Video
As Organic Valley continues celebrating its 20th year, more than 50 of its member farmers from across the United States will gather to support Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic on Sept. 20 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass.
The annual benefit concert, sponsored by Organic Valley for the seventh year, will feature headliners Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and Kenny Chesney. The concert will celebrate music and good food, featuring hands-on activities in the HOMEGROWN Village that will showcase the direct connection between the food we eat and the people who grow it.
Among the Organic Valley farmers showing their support at Farm Aid is Travis Forgues, a young farmer and Organic Valley board member, who will be featured in the live television broadcast of the concert on DIRECTV's The 101 Network. Since joining the cooperative, Forgues has brought new optimism to fellow farmers in Vermont. As a result of his work, 22 farm families whose land might otherwise have been cut up for house lots, are now living and working on more than 6,000 acres, raising 12,349 cows and producing nearly 6,000 gallons of milk daily.
"We are grateful to Farm Aid for providing a crucial point of unity between farmers, consumers, activists and industry," said George Siemon, chief executive officer and a founding farmer of Organic Valley. "We love that Farm Aid has chosen to highlight Travis Forgues, an organic family farmer who represents our mission of keeping family farms and rural communities alive and healthy for the past 20 years."
Visitors to Organic Valley's tent will have an opportunity to meet with farmers and learn about organic agriculture and Organic Valley's mission to save family farms. Visitors can also sample regionally produced Northeast Pastures milk and take an "I Like Milk" button, encouraging people to vote with their dollars and to vote on Nov. 4.
Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative representing organic family farmers, welcomed another milestone this year by adding its 1,000th dairy farmer-owner. Currently, 1,296 farmer owners nationwide are members of the Organic Valley cooperative. Unlike corporations, which often take dollars earned from farms out of local economies, Organic Valley sales dollars go back to farm families rural communities coast-to-coast, benefiting local schools, parks, locally-owned businesses, and of course, the land.
Farm Aid 2008
Farm Aidís mission is to build a vibrant family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aidís work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family-farmed food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $30 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.
Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is Americaís largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents more than 1,200 farmers in 34 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $432.5 million in 2007 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.com and the cooperativeís farmer website, www.farmers.coop.