W.R. Sherburne and Sons Dairy in Dexter, Maine Joins Organic Valley Family of Farms, a Farmer-Owned Cooperative
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative of organic family farmers, welcomed another milestone this year by adding its 1,000th dairy farmer member: W.R. Sherburne and Sons dairy in Dexter, Maine. This dairy joins 18 other Organic Valley dairies in Maine and more than 150 dairies in New England. Currently, 1,296 diverse, organic farmer members nationwide own Organic Valley Cooperative.
"When we formed the cooperative in 1988, our goal was to save our farms and family farming culture through organic agriculture. Today, that mission continues and adding our 1,000th dairy member during our 20th anniversary is testimony to that goal," said George Siemon, chief executive officer of Organic Valley.
"The organic milk produced at the Sherburne Farm will help the growing consumer demand for organic milk products in the New England region," continued Siemon.
Fred Sherburne’s 500-acre farm has been in his family for more than 70 years. The farm, started by his father, was taken over by Fred and his brother Joseph where they farmed side-by-side for 38 years until Joseph passed away last January. Since that time, Joseph’s son, Shawn, has joined the partnership, making him a fourth generation dairy farmer.
Organic since 2006, the Sherburne’s joined Organic Valley this summer. They grow all the crops needed to feed their herd, including 120 acres of oats and 40 acres of corn silage, with the remaining acreage used for grazing and hay.
The Sherburne’s haven’t always been dairy farmers. In 2003, they sold the herd due to financial pressures. Organic dairy brought them back into the dairy business. "Joseph had been very enthusiastic about becoming organic," says Fred Sherburne. "Now Shawn and I are carrying out his wishes."
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 1,296 farmers in 35 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 cooperative’s farmer website, www.farmers.coop.