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

Stephanie Baumgartner says …

What a brave couple! To follow your passions, when they are quite a departure from your norm requires significant courage. It is wonderful that they were able to have faith, live a life of integrity with their beliefs and contribute to the world in such a tangible and meaningful way.

Sara Schaaf says …

I think their story is great!! I love the product and love that it is farmer owned in the US. It is great that they stand behind the commitment of doing what is better for your health and for the environment. And the cows are beautiful.

Jessica says …

As a small business owner it is inspiring to see the Webbs successfully balance running a business for profit and dealing with that aspect of things with their desire to deliver a product in a way that is better for the environment, better for the animals involved, and better for consumers. Way to go Webbs!

Kathy Munteanu says …

I love their story! I think it's great they took a risk and followed their dream.....and brought people a great product.

Kristina says …

A truly inspirational story of the strength and development of family farms where in todays modern age it is hard to find. Organic farming is truly important especially when it comes to healthy living and sustainability, kudos to them.

Debra Dunham says …

I have no choice but MARVEL at this young couple for a job well done. To take a run down farm and turn it around, share the responsiblities of maintaining the farm, taking excellent care (from looking at the video) of the cows, and still have the time to be blessed with a bundle of joy (who is right there with them when chores are being performed) is remarkable. My family loves Organic Valley Milk and it is the only milk that we will drink. Great job Webb family!

Cindy Webb says …

I worried about Tyler leaving a job with great benifits,retirement,medical and raises. I now see how happy he is pursuing his dream with Melanie and Wyatt by making a healthy contribution to other families.He has convinced me that OV products are the way to a healthier life style.That a way to go Webbs! love from a very proud mom who knows her farmers

Nancy Philpot says …

A refreshing story showing true pioneer spirit!

Harmony says …

I love the fact that she takes her baby right out there with her. It's a great way to raise a family

Coral Bielecki says …

The work that the Webb family is doing is genuine art. They're expressing their deepest selves, solving problems, helping shape the lives of their family and the world. I commend them for their work.

Emerald Smith says …

You can tell their is a lot of love in the making of organic valley products. Thanks for your inspiration!

Nancy says …

Hard work making a good product is always worth it. If you treat the animals well and they ae happy , I think they will produce better. I am so glad more people are going back to the original state of food, orgainic, I do not like eating chemicals they are not made to eat! Taking risks about something you are passionate about is always worth the risk Great job!

Judy says …

What a great success story! It's great to know that good people like you source the raw ingredients for the Organic Valley products my family enjoys. And I'm even more impressed with your green additions to the farm in the way of wind energy and solar heated water. Awesome!

Lizzy says …

What an adventure for this young family! I love that they're committed to their product and sharing that commitment with other families.

keith says …

It's great that although they had no experience, the Webb's were confident that they could manifest their vision of a humane and organic dairy farm. Glad they're raising cows other than Holsteins. Now if the gov't could just get out of the way, and allow a free market for raw milk products. Continued blessings to you Tyler and Melanie!

Sarah Eliza says …

How wonderful! I'm jealous. :)

Betty Gardner says …

I use "Organic Valley" products, but had know idea that you were part of the "American Way", I love your story. My husband, Charles and I met Bob and Maureen Graham on a cruise, and we have been emailing each other. Maureen said she was friends with you and I am sure encourages you too. We will keep on using "Organic Valley" products knowing that you are one on of families who are contributing to this wonderful way of life and hard work. Keep on keeping on. Chuck and Betty

Colin Simes says …

God Bless Organic Valley and Whole Foods for their efforts in bringing God's originally intended bounty back into the lives of city-dwelling Americans. Back at the turn of the century and I'm talking the early 1900's - there were no cancers to speak of, no cardiovascular diseases to speak of, children were not obese, middle aged folks did not have to take statins to reduce cholesterol levels. Why is this - because the foods were whole and society was whole and profit for it's own sake was not the end all and be all as it has become today in many circles. We were a purer society then, a simpler society, a more homogenous society, a more Godly society - a society of Americans; not individual sub-classes of whites, blacks, asians, and latins. Sure we weren't perfect we had some problems, things to work out but all of us were working for that American dream of independence, self-determination, and self-expression. May God Bless us all as we move forward to reclaim America and our individuality from those forces that seek to divide us, seek to classify us, and who seek to distract us from our natural affection for each one another. Let's do this - keep the innocence - keep the purity - keep the authenticity - for each and every one of us - God Bless us all.

Norman Webb says …

Tyler's father, who else :-)

Kuntal says …

very very inspiring and good to see young people like you making the commitment to bring these products to the general people like us. We use these products on a daily basis and thanks to your hard work.

Simona Ehling says …

We love your products. Thank you.

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