Whole Story

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Organic Valley

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER CASEY FROM ANNAPOLIS, MD. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS! We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’ll be sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series. Read on for a chance to win a $50 gift card. “We go out to the grocery store wearing our Organic Valley hats and someone will come up to us and say, ‘Oh, I love your stuff, it’s the best, thanks!’ and it feels great.” In scenic Fairfield, Vermont, young farmers Tyler and Melanie Webb run Stony Pond Farm, an organic dairy farm that supplies milk to Organic Valley. Their road to farming was a little unorthodox. Neither Tyler nor Melanie have a background in farming; they both grew up in suburbs of New York. Tyler’s first interest in farming came from studying anthropology in college. Through taking a soils class, he studied plant and soil science and worked for the government for a few years before taking the leap to start Stony Pond Farm. “Tyler found this farm and it was a rundown old dairy farm that together we brought back to life,” says Melanie. “I figured if I’m ever going to have a chance of being a farmer I’d better try it in my early 20s than my late 60s, so I quit my job, “ says Tyler. “I look back and I don’t even know how we pulled it off. Every day you wake up and you do what you have to do. You milk the cows and you do what’s possible and then before you know it, you’ve done the impossible. In looking back, it seems like it was impossible, but we did it.” For the Webbs, it was important for their dairy to be part of a farmer-owned cooperative like Organic Valley that encourages the growth and stability of family farms. “I think Organic Valley has been really interested in supporting and promoting young farmers, “ says Melanie. “It’s cool to be part of a co-op that is so forward-thinking.” What do you think about the hard work that the Webbs have put into starting their dairy farm? Watch the slideshow above and leave a comment with your answer by October 11. One comment will be chosen at random to win a $50 gift card to our stores.

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521 comments

Comments

Tyler and Melanie Webb says …

Wow. Thank you all so much! We love what we do, and hearing all the appreciation is so inspiring to always continue our journey as farmers, and stewards of the land. Enjoy. Ty, Mel and Wyatt.

Kristen says …

All I can really say is that I'm so glad that there are people like the Webbs. Without them and their commitment to raise happy, healthy animals that are able to lead fairly comfortable lives, my family wouldn't be able to have dairy-based products. I'm not able to raise my own animals and I won't buy from people who don't treat their animals with love and respect. The Webbs are the kinds of farmers I want to support and give my money to. Thanks, Webb family! Keep up the hard work.

The Sweetest Vegan says …

Im vegan, but I am all for family farms!

Janelle says …

How inspiring! I've always been interested in these things but never knew where to get started.... they are an awesome example that anyone can do it!

Jon says …

What a fabulous and encouraging story. I am honestly inspired by this.

Sebastian says …

I envy them! I love Vermont and dairy and being active and in the nature there while being part of Organic Valley must be pretty awesome. I would like at least to visit such a place.

Stephanie Bjerk says …

This story was pretty inspiring, and it also made me smile when I read that soil played a part. I had always perceived dairy farming as a very rigorous career and to see that this family is a young one just blows my mind. I am extremely excited to see younger individuals interested in farming! My friend's family owns a dairy farm and I always ask how his cows are. I love the fact everyday people can take on greater roles and conquer such demanding tasks. The movement to support great quality and down to earth goodness is spreading and I am proud to say that I do this through purchasing Organic Valley products.

Kathy Clark says …

I think what the Webb family is doing is super fantastic! I wish every farmer would go organic!

Jan C. says …

So wonderful to hear this story of dedication and success! I'm trying my hardest to source out food providers exactly like the Webbs, to feed my family; the state of our food system in North America is devastating, so it's wonderful and inspirational to hear about young people who are willing to go down the road very-much-less-travelled and start a wholesome farming business, from scratch! Well done! :D

Kelly Murphy says …

What a great story! It is so great to meet the folks who are working hard to make such great products.

Kim Herba says …

Organic is the only way to go~ that's all I buy!

Sarah says …

I love their story because it is so similar to mine and my husband's story. We, as a young couple, left our careers, him as a project manager for a remodeling company and myself as a graphic designer, and started our own business doing existing home energy audits and certifying new homes for Energy Star and Green Star. We went out of our comfort zones and sacraficed having steadily paying jobs (and insurance) to start a company that will better the environment and educate homeowners about saving energy in their home. Today, 4 years and 3 kids later, we still enjoy what we do. We participate in programs like Habitat for Humanity, local low income weatherization programs and do local home shows to educate and promote energy saving. Plus, the fact that our commute is usually in slippers. It is a hard road and looking back you don't know how you were able to push through the first years. You do it for your family and when it's a business that betters the planet, you are doing for others as well. Kudos to the Webb family for dong the right thing and making the food we eat and the land we live on better.

Connie says …

It seems that Orgainic Valley is really about family farmers, that are passionate about a quality product.

suzanne g says …

Thanks for posting. It's great to hear a story like this.

K. Villareal says …

Wow! Kudos to the Webbs! They really make me feel that it's not completely impossible to achieve my goals. And thanks to them for giving us a healthy supply of milk!!

Babs says …

Running a dairy is hard work, but we're grateful someone is willing to take on all the challenges. We buy Organic Valley products constantly and don't know what we would do were they not available.

Blandine Duvillier says …

Their should be more people with passion for organic like them. You are what you eat :)

Cassie says …

That was so nice to learn about a family that took a risk to live their dream! Growing up I always had it in the back of my mind that I'd like to make a living working with the land, so it's great to see that my family's milk is coming from a family similar to mine (although, the mom seems to accomplish a lot more than I can with the baby in the sling! ) We try to buy locally and know the farmers who grow our veggies. So, it was great to see my milk coming from people I can actually relate to! It was also wonderful to see the happy cows. Seeing this has really solidified my commitment to Organic Valley!

Melody says …

That's amazing how they were able to change their own lives and work toward what is really important to them.

Crystal Welsh says …

Happy cows! Happy farmers! Happy customers! Happy Earth! This is how all farms should be! I'm so glad that there are committed brave young folks out there who are willing to embrace farming as an occupation. Thank you!

Lisa Johnson says …

Very Inspiring!. Exactly what my 8 yr old daughters needs to see with her own eyes a better understanding for myself as well. I can not change the past but I am working hard to direct the future for my daughter "Organic Valley" is a big part of that journey eating right drinking right. Thank you Beautiful animals (healthy looking, cleaning, happy) Beautiful people. Thank you

Kathy T says …

They wanted their work to be a reflection of their values--and Organic Valley & Whole Foods are a part of that.GOOD--Organic Valley products are always top notch- and I am glad to buy products MADE IN USA!!

Mary Hopkins says …

It's awesome to see a couple working together doing what they love! Their products are amazing and I hope they continue to inspire others.

Lisa says …

Very heart-warming, inspiring story of impacting the world for good. Thanks!

Jimmy Arcade says …

Tyler and Melanie's story is refreshing. My wife and I have joked around about being farmers and have never thought it possible. We have a friend, whose parents are conventional farmers and, in their opinion, it's nearly impossible to run a farm and to do so in a financially viable way. It's very cool to see Tyler and Melanie start an organic, sustainable, cruelty-free, and environmentally-friendly dairy farm. The fulfillment of their dreams, in starting and running this dairy farm, is a great testament to the spirit of creative ingenuity and steadfast persistence that has been resurfacing in North America, in small trickles. It is inspiring to hear such successful stories and reflect on the possibility that this country could, again, be the land of opportunity that it was once known for. I pray that this trend continues and that the responsible approach to agriculture and horticulture would become a way of life.

Chantelle says …

Rad!! So neat that they had the faith to step out into the dark and take a chance!! I want to be like them:-).

Emily luker says …

Very inspiring!! Thank you all for working so hard for us.

Amanda says …

I think we need more people like the Webbs! How incredible brave to jump into something like this not knowing where things would go. I am certainly not a risk taker but I feel inspired for little leaps now. :)

Cate says …

I love that their work is a family affair with baby tagging along in the sling. I also love that Organic Valley seems to go one step further providing opportunities for farmers to make their operations more energy efficient.

Donna Eaton says …

I find this story refreshing and inspiring in that neither had a farming history.I think that what they've accomplished so far is fantastic.The way they chose organic and the way they're off setting their energy with wind & solar is awesome.Organic,local & sustainable.Keep on doing it Webbs.Great job!

Katie says …

It makes me feel good about purchasing Organic Valley products to hear stories like this. Tyler and Melanie, it is farmers like you that make me hopeful!

Sara says …

This story of how the Webbs became successful just shows us all that we don't need a background of experience in this field. Any one of us can start out from the basic and work our way up thru learning and commitment! Without people like the Webbs, who knows how deprived we would all be if we didn't have access to these wonderful foods and nourishment.

Todd says …

I sometimes get discouraged by the daunting requirements of taking on a new direction or diving into uncharted territory in life. This has contributed to my not accomplishing, perhaps, some things in life I would have wanted to.This story encourages me to look past the difficulty of doing, has allowed me to focus on seeing that goals are within reach and hopefully reach for a dream that would otherwise go unrealized. Thanks Melanie and Tyler!

Jennifer says …

It is nice to see that people still care about what is happening in our food process. Thanks for all your hard work.

kk says …

I am impressed by the Webbs' dedication and commitment to achieving their goal.

Carole Strumsky says …

Tyler and Melanie: How fascinating that this enthusiast young couple, carrying along their precious little one, live out their principals and dream. With so many people/industries/companies looking just to stuff their portfolios regardless of consequences to the consumer, Organic Valley is truly an endeavor of love. Thanks Tyler and Melanie for providing a delicious and wholesome product. Great job!

Linda says …

Great story. As a child I lived on a farm but am a city girl now. Love the farm and that they are getting to do what they love to do. We drink and eat the organic milk products thanks to their hard work.

Christine says …

Thanks to people like this, Organic food has made such a difference I my life.

green salad says …

very inspirating n intereting n keeping good work

s.rodriguez says …

What a great couple to go out and start something that they believe in and that will benefit all of us!

Jen M says …

A great story! Very inspiring. May the Webb family have continued success in providing a great product to consumers.

Lisa says …

I would love to thank all the hard working families like the Webb's that put so much love into their products for my family. This video was truly inspiring to my entire family to really see where some of our Organic products come from. I love that the Webb family brought up that they received an energy audit from Organic Valley and they switched to an environmental friendly alternative to using fossil fuels to run their families dairy. That was incredible to hear not many farms use solar water heaters and wind power at least not conventional dairies. So that you for making America and the world a better place Organic Valley and The Webb family you rock♪♫♪ Sincerely the Schwalbe Family

Sharon rutherford says …

I think it is great. They seem to love what they are doing and are producing a great product.

Kristee says …

I truly admire the Webb family for taking a risk to bring healthy, earth friendly products to consumers. Inspiring!

Gretchen Vanderlip says …

It is inspiring to hear stories of people starting farms that produce food products without harmful hormones and antibiotics. Typically, I think of farm products coming from large, established farms. The ability to use your education to manufacture quality products according to procedures contributes to helping the environment and people's health.

Cristina Kasiotakis says …

Wow, what a great story, it is uber inspirational, to just drop what you're doing and pursue your dreams. I can relate, I am in New York pursuing my acting career and left home to follow my goals. Go America!

Karen says …

I love to hear about anyone who gets to do what they love to do for a living. Hearing Tyler & Melanie's story also makes me happy to be a consumer of Organic Valley products.

Gayle says …

I just loved hearing Tyler say..."you do what’s possible and then before you know it, you’ve done the impossible." I have Celiac Disease and there are days that the possible seems impossible. I am going to use this quote in my daily self talk. Having Organic Valley as a food option has made the impossible meals possible for me and my family. Thanks to Stony Farm and other farmers like them, and of course Whole Foods I am living well gluten-free.

Linda Wanosky says …

I think this slideshow was excellent. I especially liked Tyler’s comment at the end. I have so much respect for what Melanie & Tyler are doing as a young couple from the NY suburbs. We need many more people like them to save us from the agribusiness giants that are ruining our food and spoiling our environment. My hat’s off to them. It’s a lot of work.

Samantha Stevenson says …

I think their story is incredibly inspiring. The fact that they took a risk at such a young age enourages me to strive to achieve my goals now rather than putting them off until I am older. Sometimes you have to take a risk in order to find success and I am certainly thankful they took a risk on such a great product!

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