Recognized for their extraordinary land stewardship, Organic Valley farmer-owners Rosie and Ward Burroughs of Burroughs Family Farm recently received the honor of being one of three finalists for the prestigious sixth annual Leopold Conservation Award for California. The award is named for world-renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. Nominees were recognized at the California Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting on December 5 in Sparks, Nevada.
“Rosie, Ward and their family have long been good stewards of the land and their community, setting an example for sustainable agriculture in their region and beyond,” said George Siemon, founding farmer and C-E-I-E-I-O of Organic Valley. “Their continued efforts will ensure those farmlands will thrive for generations to come.”
Located east of Modesto in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the Burroughs, with their children, own and manage 4,400 acres of organic almonds and grasslands, under the gaze of Yosemite’s Half Dome. The Burroughs family has invested considerably in conservation efforts on both their owned and leased property, focusing on water quality and conservation, renewable energy and wildlife habitat creation.
“Ward and I have always felt a strong responsibility for taking care of the land and passing it down to the next generation in better condition than we inherited it,” said Rosie, “For my parents, my husband and I, and our children, we are proud to have continued the stewardship of our farms over the course of four generations.”
Burroughs Family Farm produces organic dairy, as well as organic almonds, beef, eggs, goats, meat birds and artisan cheese. Their three certified organic dairies currently raise nearly 1,400 cows on 80 percent forage in fresh, lush pastures. Other sustainability improvements in recent years have included updating the organic almond orchards by installing state-of-the-art water monitoring systems and the addition of five high-tech solar arrays that produce 80 percent of the power to irrigate the orchards. The Burroughses have been member-owners of the Organic Valley cooperative since 2004.
For the past 16 years, Organic Valley has had a vital presence on the west coast and in the Pacific Northwest as a steadfast contributor to rural and urban communities from California to Washington and east to Idaho. ;Organic Valley currently has 51 farmer member-owners and contracts with six processing plants in the Pacific Northwest, ensuring fewer miles from farm to table.
Organic Valley: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,658 farmers in 35 states and three Canadian provinces, and achieved $619 million in 2010 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. With its regional model, milk is produced, bottled and distributed right in the region where it is farmed to ensure fewer miles from farm to table and to support our local economies. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie 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 @OrganicValley and Facebook www.facebook.com/OrganicValley.