Stewards of the Land

It's common sense—what's good for the land is what's good for your health. That's why we farm organically. It's an important way to protect our families, your family, and the environment that sustains us all.

Organic farming is based on the development of biological diversity, and the maintenance and replenishment of soil fertility. Organic stewardship of the land fosters healthy soils, clean water and diverse, vibrant ecosystems—keys to the natural self-sustaining balance that keeps pests in check and allows the production of healthy quantities of high quality foods, year after year.

Agricultural Policy Matters

Chemical farming inputs became popular in the middle of the last century as a way to maximize crop yields. Today conventional farmers and our world at large pay the price for these practices, which result in environmental and economic imbalances.

While synthetic pesticides may initially hit their targets, over time the substances become less effective and pest populations tend to develop resistance to the chemicals. This leads to increased pesticide applications without increased yields, and a race to develop ever more powerful pesticides that run far beyond the EPA's ability to study and regulate their use. While there is mounting evidence of widespread damage caused by conventional practices—contamination of food, water, soil, and air, diminished wildlife, soil erosion, and more—there are few policies in place to protect the environment or the public. One of the few agricultural policies that does have regulations we can count on is the National Organic Program.

Many of the farmers of Organic Valley's independent cooperative will tell you that a big reason they switched to organic farming was for their health or their children's. None of us wants our family to become the experimental subject of pesticide exposures. We know that organic pest control methods are a safer path. In the long run they are better and more economically effective, too.

Organic land stewardship practices on the farm promote a healthy, balanced ecosystem, which is the best pest control available! Healthy, organically-built soils produce resilient plants with their own natural defenses against insects, fungus and disease. Animals who graze in organic pastures receive the fresh air, good food and exercise that keep them hardy and resistant to sickness as well. Organic farmers control weeds using methods that also build and protect fertile soils, and they provide habitat to encourage birds and other natural predators that help control insect pests.

It Starts with the Soil

Conventional agriculture uses large amounts of petroleum-based fertilizers. This provides plants with nitrogen to fuel rapid plant growth, but provides little else to build up the soil. Worse, excess applications lead to suffocating algae blooms in ponds and lakes. Conventional farming methods promote rapid loss of fertile topsoil through erosion as well. Good soil gets washed into our waterways, along with any chemical residues and nitrates.

Organic methods of building soil fertility do more than just increase yields. They also build up minerals and micronutrients for robust, nutritious plants. Organic farmers protect their soil and local waterways through a variety of conservation practices.

Think Globally, Farm Organic Locally!

The impact of synthetic chemical use spreads far beyond the conventional farm and its neighbors. Persistent agricultural pollutants travel through the ecosystem to remote parts of the world, and have even been found in the polar ice caps.

Through their land stewardship, organic farmers not only help build healthy farms and communities; they contribute to a healthier world.

Organic Valley's cooperative model of regional production means that our food is distributed and sold closer to the farm where it was produced. This means fresher food and less energy consumed to ship foods long distances. As more farmers join our co-op, we can offer more opportunity for you think globally and buy organic locally!

Organic is an Investment

It's common sense—home economics on a larger scale. Chemical-intensive conventional farming creates high yields of cheap food in the short term, but the cost is our compromised ecosystems and squandered natural resources. It creates a debt that we and our children can ill afford to repay.

The organic farming and food connection offers a bright hope that both consumers and farmers can own. When we farm organically and steward the land, we enhance the environment and protect natural resources. Your purchase of our products is a tangible investment in the future, with many tasty dividends!

"Can any one believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life? They should not be called 'insecticides' but 'biocides.'"

—Rachel Carson

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