Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

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

Teresa Cramer says …

Thanks so much for this story. We hear so many dairy "horror" stories from other sources it is nice to see a positive one. Our family loves Organic Valley products.

Leann Xu says …

Those plodders labor with their love, respect, and appreciation to life and the nature created by God shall be richly rewarded, especially when they worship God as they enjoy their fruits!

Kathy E says …

It is so encouraging to see young people continuing to start family farms within co-ops.

Lindsay says …

Great products, great flavor. Love this story, thanks for sharing!

Amy says …

What an amazing and dedicated young family. They are an example of what is possible with hard work and lots of TLC. Our country needs more Webbs! Congrats to you both. Wishing you many years of continued success!

Jackie H. says …

Being married to a "wanna be" farmer who loves to garden and raise farm animals in his spare time, I can really appreciate the story of Tyler and Melanie... it encourages us all to keep dreaming and follow your heart!

Luana says …

Webbs: Bravery, perseverance and a great story of success. I love their milk and cottage cheese and I hope that they will be able to keep their dream for years and years to come. Thank you!

Joanne R says …

Keep up the great work. Wish I had your products near me. Closest store is about 40 minutes away but I will continue to look every time I shop. Starting great clean nutrition at a young age is great inspiration for all generations.

Micah Grobman says …

They are an inspiration. The world needs less corporations and more people like the Webbs! Kudos!

Angela Greene says …

Thanks for sharing this! Stories like this inspire me and really make me feel better about the world. As bad as things are, it is wonderful to see people who believe in doing the right thing, and that they are happy and successful!

marlen reyes says …

I loveee this milk. I am trying to get pregnant and I want my body and future baby to be concived with Organic Valley products. I buy the milk, butter and anything that this company produce. I really appreciate their incredible dedication to provide customers like me with such an incredible product. thanks. :)

Alberto de la Puente says …

I think what the Webbs are doing is incredible, the farm production is kind of basic as its must to be, they should inspiring more other people to do the same, maybe could inspire some big corps. to. they are saving our planet and our health.

Courtney says …

This makes me even happier that I choose Organic Valley as our household milk. I couldn't be more pleased with an organic product. I have lactose intolerance and don't like to drink Lactose free brands because of the sugary taste - Organic Valley is easy on my stomach - kudos!

Gretchen says …

The Webbs are a wonderful testament of a farm that is run in a sustainable, healthy way, producing delicious milk. Why wouldn't you want milk from such beautiful, healthy, happy cows.

Nicole says …

What an amazing family and such an inspiration to follow your passion!

Cristina Herrera says …

Being able to "meet" Tyler and Melanie and seeing how much effort and love they put into their dairy farm adds a level of appreciation for the finished product that I, as a conusmer, might otherwise overlook. Thank you for sharing your story!

Terry Gardezy says …

I think it's totally awesome. These kind of stories make it worth to spend a little more on the products. In spending a bit more, I can not only have healthier food, but support wonderful young entreprenuers like this! Wonderful story. I wish more stories like this would be produced mainstream!

Stephanie says …

What an inspiring couple! I am currently in my early twenties and in a bit of a life limbo as to what I want to do when I "grow up". Whatever it is, hearing thorough commitment not only to the consumer but to what makes the product happen is very inspiring! I hope to find something that gives back to the community like this... and involves delicious food! :-)

Chase says …

This is an inspirational story. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

Adriene says …

Love what the Webbs are doing! Doing the right thing may not always be the easiest path, but once we look back, we can feel good about what we've accomplished.

Amanda says …

I love the Webb's passion for what they are doing. I am grateful to them and farmers like them that are committed to sustainable, organic farming. Their cows are beautiful!

Rachel H. says …

You go guys! That is just wonderful to hear about you all being first generation dairy farmers. We love your products at our house!

The Deliees says …

It's really inspiring that the Webbs had such conviction to change their lives so radically. As organic consumers-- thank you!

Jake Jones says …

What a fantastic and inspiring story. Their work is definitely appreciated, and it is people like the Webbs who make me want to buy organic.

beth bonniwell says …

Beautiful Family! Your products are moolicious! I love how you are using 'green' efficient energy.

david says …

Awesome story, we need more folks like them in our communities!

shiara says …

INSPIRING!!!

Julie Stern says …

I think that it is quite amazing that a pair of suburban New Yorkers were able to start a dairy farm with little-to-no background! From the breed of cow selected, to the energy conservation/alternative energy measures they implemented, they appear to be doing everything "right"! Although I believe the U.S. overproduces dairy, I am glad to support conscientious and humane dairy operations like Stony Pond farm and Organic Valley (making some cookies with their butter today, in fact!) :)

Marcia A. says …

I can't believe they started farming with no prior experience. What a great example for all of us!

Giveaway Hound says …

I think it's great that they were willing to take a leap of faith to do something like this. Kudos to them for having the courage to do it ... and for pulling it off!

ren says …

I believe that the Webbs have come full circle. They work the land because they know what it takes to make a difference. The soil that they feed really is like feeding their soul. I think they are much richer than most, not necessarily in monetary but in family.

Kellie says …

I love that there are people like the Webbs. It makes me feel so much more confident choosing Organic Valley products knowing that the animals lead a healthy, happy life and that I can help support families like the Webbs by choosing Organic Valley products.

saver says …

Every day that you invest time, effort, thought into your dream of having an organic dairy farm, you are also investing in the dreams of families all over America: to have a healthy, nourished family. It is because of the efforts of families like yours, that families like mine are able to find healthy alternatives to the chemical and hormone-filled food that populates grocery shelves. I am indebted to you and from now on will think of you guys every time I slice off Organic Valley cheese, or crumble OV feta into a salad, or pour OV half and half into a bread pudding. As for how you do did it - I believe that we are never given a dream without the power to make it happen. We just have to trust and journey forward. Thank you Webbs for journeying forward. My family will always be indebted to organic farmers like you.

Paul Walker says …

From watching their story you get a feeling of how passionate and true to themselves these people are, not only do they work hard to make their farm a success but they also take a step back and think about how they can make things better, not only for their cows but also for the people drinking the milk from their cows. It would be safe to say that farmers and companies don't necessarily need to have a vision that is purely profit driven.

melanie says …

So important to put ourselves out there, make the effort to pursue our passion. Congratulations!

Terry says …

I admire their perseverance to work hard day by day to provide a living for themselves and great products for us consumers! It takes courage & faith!

Betsey Freya Kaplan says …

Since I am hearing impaired I was not able to ollow through My comment is tthat you both do a fabulous job of taking good care of your beautiful cows. I buy your milk at Wholefoods. Thank you for doing a great job for many of us. Betsey Freya Kaplan

Ashley says …

Thank you Webb family for all your hard work. Thanks to your efforts, I am provided with milk that is better for my health and honestly tastes sooo good. Beginning to live your dream may have been a scary step but your work is benefiting others.

chari says …

Wonderful story. It is great that they took a chance and live their dream. I wish we would have been that motivated. Beautiful family and beautiful farm.

Juli Guthrie says …

Great story! And super inspiring, I would love it if we could do something similar. My husband and I have recently began learning about the differences in soils and organic products vs. regular conventional items. The Webbs are super inspirational and I applaud them for their courage and determination (and their great milk!).

Cheryl Forbes says …

I am impressed with what they did at such an early age. I am also grateful that their products can be found close to home. I have been trying my best to lead a healthy lifestyle and their products make my life easier. Their story also makes me think of possibilities.....nice

Tracy says …

I think what this couple has done is fantastic! What an incredible leap of faith which ultimately paid off! I hope their story inspires others to follow their hearts and instincts.

John Billiris says …

It is so wonderful to realize that there are still businesses out there that put such good energy into what they do.

Amy says …

Thank you for following your passion and making our lives that much healthier!

Amanda Larkin says …

Truly inspirational and motivating. These are the stories that keep me going and I know anything is possible. Makes me happy the cows are loved and cared for as they should be. Thanks for all your hard work.

Jennifer Chan says …

I think the Webbs are amazingly brave! How exciting to have a dream, quit your job and start a dairy farm. They have put their heart and soul into their dairy farm and it motivates me to do the same for my family. What a great reason to purchase the Organic Valley Brand!!

Denise Johnson says …

I am so proud of the Web Family and extremely appreciative for all that they do. Wonderful, gorgeous family!!!

Krishna says …

It's so encouraging hearing stories like Tyler and Melanie's--hopefully everyone who dreams of organic farming will read stories like this one and take heart!

Michelle says …

Being that I am extremely picky as to what dairy i allow my family to consume, I am inspired to learn the story behind Organic Valley. For those not lactose intolerant in our household, we live on their products!

Jessica Caviness says …

How awesome! While it's a ton of hard work they sound like they TRULY love what they do. Much admiration for them! <3

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