Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Down on the Farm--Part 1: The Dairy Farm

Husband and I were on "vacation" last week. We went to visit his parents/family down on the farm in Wisconsin. Although his parents don't farm the land themselves, they rent it out to their neighbors, who run an Organic Valley dairy farm. Somewhere on the website is a picture of one of the farming family members, but I won't tell you where. His picture actually hangs at our local organic market. Whenever I see it, I feel like I know someone famous. Maybe you can tell, I'm in love with this Organic Valley farm family and always enjoy my visits there.

I try to make it a point to observe the things they are doing on the dairy farm to learn more about the work and lifestyle. Last week, the big project was mowing, raking, baling, and storing hay. You can learn more about this process at Wikipedia. I got to see each step in the process and even had my first tractor ride! I've always wanted to ride on a tractor. How I wish I had a picture! I'm worried they secretly think I am a dork for wanting to follow them around all the time. I also got to see the milking process and the calves being fed. The babies are so cute; a couple were less than a week old!

I think this farm is so admirable because the father has gone to take an executive type job at the Organic Valley headquarters in Wisconsin. He travels around lecturing and recruiting farmers to organic farming and Organic Valley. His two sons now run the farm. The oldest, who has the main responsibility, is only about 25--younger than I! He is really inspirational to me because I often feel like a kid that can't handle the responsibilities of adulthood. And here he is, running an entire farm! The younger son is in school for Agricultural Engineering and spends his spare time developing his biodiesel projects. These guys are so cool!

Do you love family farms? Do you buy Organic Valley? Do you ever wonder which organic dairy products are best? Do you ever wonder how organic your brand is, or how nice it is to their cows? Go to the Organic Dairy Report Card.

6 comments:

Gina said...

Wow! They sell this brand at my local Whole Foods! I have bought lots of their stuff. Now that I know more about them I'll be sure to buy their brand whenever I can. Thanks for sharing the story!

Mariwood said...

Hi, Gina. Did you go to their website? Aside from how well they treat their cows (Really, the cows are happy enough to frolic and play while out to pasture for the day), my favorite part about Organic Valley is that it's a cooperative. This means the farmers actually get what's due to them and have charge of the company. The website tells you so much about the co-op.

Ronia said...

Keep up the good work.

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