Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Stewards of the Land: Mountain Meadows Wins Regional Award

By Frances Flower, September 22, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Frances Flower

At Whole Foods Market®, we are passionate about our food, our community, and our environment. Just recently, we added a core value to our company mission: practicing and advancing environmental stewardship. So last week when I found out that one of our local beef producers won a Regional Environmental Stewardship award I was super excited to find out more.

Brian (right), Amiel (left) and the Secretary of Agriculture for Vermont – Chuck Ross (middle) watching their Charolais-Angus herdMountain Meadows Farm, owned by Dr. Amiel Cooper and managed by Brian Kemp, is located in Vermont’s Champlain Valley. The farm runs approximately 365 cow-calf pairs on approximately 3,000 acres of pasture and cropland.

While Mountain Meadows started off in 1996 as a small operation with about 20 head of cattle, the turning point came when Dr. Cooper, a retired pathologist, met Brian Kemp. Together, Amiel and Brian worked on growing the Charolais-Angus herd and taking care of the land to provide an outstanding organic beef program.

More than 16,500 mixed hardwood trees have been planted at the farm. Mountain Meadows are working with Audubon Society to plant more bird-attracting trees and plant life.“We have always strived to be good care-takers of our land and animals and our relationships with the Vermont Organic Farmers and Whole Foods Market spurred us on to go the extra mile,” explains Amiel. “Over the last six years we have fenced 10 miles of waterways that feed into Lake Champlain to stop cattle from polluting the water and damaging delicate riparian ecosystems; we’ve fenced woodlands and planted over 16,500 trees in 86 acres; we rotate cattle through pastures carefully, allowing pastures to recover between grazing; we use an artesianal well powered by solar panels as a source of water for our cattle; and we’ve utilized composted manure to improve soil fertility.”

The Lemon Fair Waterway that runs into Lake Champlain is fenced for more than 10 miles, protecting the waterways from damage and pollutionThis year Amiel and Brian were recognized for their stewardship practices and awarded the 2013 regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). They will compete with six other regional winners for the national ESAP award early next year in Nashville, Tennessee.

Amiel describes “we’ve taken great measures to maintain the water purity of Lake Champlain and the waterways that make their way through the farm and into the lake. This award is one of the most exciting things to happen to me professionally in my career.” Brian also mirrors that sentiment “It means an awful lot — the most important element to farming is the environment and we’ve worked with many folks over the last few years to be successful and be the best stewards of the land we can be.”

At Whole Foods Market we are also very proud of their achievement so next time you are in the store be sure to check out Mountain Meadows beef and wish them the best for the national competition!

Mountain Meadows beef is available at the following stores:

Connecticut

Darien

Greenwich

Massachusetts

Fresh Pond (Cambridge)

Hadley

New Jersey

Millburn-Union (Vauxhall)

Paramus

New York

57th Street (New York City)

Bowery (New York City)

Chelsea (New York City)

Columbus Circle (New York City)

Tribeca (New York City)

Union Square (New York City)
U
pper West Side (New York City)

Jericho (Long Island)

Lake Grove (Long Island)

Manhasset (Long Island)

White Plains (Westchester)

Yonkers (Westchester)

Category: Meat, Local

 

8 Comments

Comments

Lori Adcock says ...
Congratulations Amiel and Brian! Your hard work is apparent in your terrific product and your beautiful farm. Lori
09/23/2013 10:20:30 AM CDT
Michael Mitchell says ...
Sounds great! Any plans to expand distribution of Mountain Meadow Farm beef to the new Lynnfield Whole Foods? Thanks.
09/24/2013 1:53:55 PM CDT
William Kasimer says ...
Best beef ever!!! Congratulations!
09/24/2013 2:13:38 PM CDT
Kerry Niethold says ...
Congratulations to you Amiel! What a wonderful story. How great it must feel to see that your hard work and dedication is honored with such a prestigious award. Congratulations again and good luck to you and Brian in Nashville!
09/24/2013 2:38:42 PM CDT
Gerry says ...
Congratulations Amiel on receiving the ESAP Award. Much success and prosperity to you and your business partner. The farm photos are "udderly" beautiful. Gerry (Norwood Hospital)
09/24/2013 2:38:49 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MICHAEL - Our buying is done at the store/regional level. Check with the Lynnfield store specifically to see if they have plans to carry it!
09/24/2013 4:44:47 PM CDT
Dr. Perfect says ...
Congratulations to Mountain Meadows. I'm a "flexitarian," and rarely eat their tasty beef, but I can attest to the great sauerkraut Amiel prepares.
09/25/2013 5:11:54 AM CDT
Brad M. says ...
I am a regular Whole Foods shopper in Boston (Symphony Hall location), and I recently visited the Cambridge Fresh Pond location, where I found some organic beef that I have not seen in other stores in the Boston area. It was from Mountain Meadow Farm, and I hope that it will be available very soon at Symphony & other Boston locations for people to enjoy. Simply wonderful cuts of beef! Brad
09/25/2013 9:34:27 AM CDT