Organic Valley, the nation’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, announced today that Vermont farmer-owners Taylor and Nick Meyer of North Hardwick Dairy in Caledonia County received Vermont’s 2013 Highest Milk Quality Award for the 10th year in a row. The Meyers were recognized at the Dairy Farmers Banquet held during the 80th annual Vermont Farm Show on January 30, 2014.
Seventy-nine cow milk quality nominees, independent farmstead cheese makers and independent handlers from both conventional and organic farming backgrounds are judged on five quality categories. The farmer’s records are provided by their milk handlers and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. After laboratory analysis, farm inspection, sensory evaluation and milk samples for judging flavor, the winners are chosen. The Meyers became Organic Valley farmer-owners in 2003 and have taken home the title every year since 2004.
“We are honored to have farmer-owners like the Meyer family. As they celebrate 10 continuous years of producing prize-winning milk, we applaud them for their dedication and for their pioneering work in organic milk quality,” said Travis Forgues, pools director for Organic Valley.
Brothers Taylor and Nick Meyer took over their family’s hillside farm in 2001, transitioning from conventional to organic farming soon after. Because of the brothers’ strong focus on nutrition and quality, they practice rotational grazing on their 350 acres, switching the cows to fresh pasture every 12 hours after milking. The brothers continuously work to improve the self-sustainability of their land, including building a wind turbine in 2008 and growing their own hay and feed crops.
“As farmers and as individuals, we never give up,” says Nick Meyer. “Whatever obstacle the day brings, we push through and then set the standard even higher. We strive to feed our cows with the best pasture and forage possible, so that they in turn produce superior quality organic milk."
Organic Valley currently has 133 dairy farmer-owners in Vermont. Organic Valley’s regional model ensures fewer miles from farm to table.
About 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 1,844 farmers in 36 states. 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 visit www.organicvalley.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter @OrganicValley and Facebook www.facebook.com/OrganicValley.