On the farm, the Wolfisbergs were already doing things in an organic manner, according to Colleen. Hans had an interest in rotational grazing, which he became familiar with when he spent time in New Zealand.
At home, they had always kept antibiotics to a minimum, and had used no hormones on their animals. All this added up to a fairly smooth transition to organic certification once they decided to make the commitment. Within a year’s time, they became fully certified. They got on the Organic Valley truck in 2005.
“We were one of the first Organic Valley dairy farmers in Whatcom County, so we received a lot of attention from different sources -- media, schools and other farmers,” Colleen relates. “It was further confirmation of a lifestyle that we were already living. It just made sense to be organic producers as well.”
Being able to raise a big family on their farm is truly one of the rewards of their profession, says Colleen, who home schools all of their children. “Organic farming grants an added advantage,” she explains. “It provides profit and sustainability, so the next generation can take over. It also shows our children that we are talking the talk and walking the walk, when it comes to an organic lifestyle.”