Organic Valley, the nation's largest cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, today announced that Gregg and Gloria Varney of Nezinscot Farm in Turner, Maine, received a 2013 Homesteader of the Year Award from Mother Earth News Magazine. The Varneys, together with their five children, were one of six awardees out of more than 50 homesteading families across the U.S., Canada and New Zealand who were considered for this award. The Varneys will be featured in the August/September issue of the magazine.
The Mother Earth News 2013 Homesteaders of the Year embody the learning-by-doing ethos by providing opportunities for others to adopt new self-reliance skills through hands-on experience. Homesteaders of the Year were chosen for this honor based on their dedication to community building, and their devotion to sharing the fruits of their labors and the knowledge needed to complete those labors. Additional information on the 2013 Homesteaders of the Year Award can be found here.
Mother Earth News Magazine is the longest-running publication dedicated to sustainable lifestyles.
Gloria and Gregg Varney opened the first certified organic dairy farm in Maine under the name of Nezinscot Farm in 1994. Located outside of Turner, Maine, the 120-head dairy currently produces milk for their seven-person family and on-site cheese production. The Varneys have been long-time members of Organic Valley. Several other animals keep the homestead humming with activity, including dairy goats, sheep, pigs and rabbits. The farm includes a two-acre vegetable garden, large orchard and several hives of honeybees.
“Homesteading is more than the act of producing for ones family, it is the idea of creating opportunities for a continuation of learning for the next generation,” said Gloria Varney. “If we are to expect farms to continue to thrive, then we must open our doors to the opportunity for learning to anyone interested in coming in.”
Today, Organic Valley has 31 farmer-owners in Maine, from Androscoggin to Aroostook county.
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, today it represents 1,834 farmers in 35 states and three Canadian provinces, and achieved $860 million in 2012 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, and produce, 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. For further information and to learn about Organic Valley’s 25 years of sustainable agriculture as it celebrates its anniversary in 2013, visit www.organicvalley.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter @OrganicValley and Facebook www.facebook.com/OrganicValley