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

C Smith says …

I look forward to trying it!

Tracee Cosme says …

It makes me always want to choose Organic Valley for all my dairy needs. May God Bless them all, and the cows there! I loved seeing how they operate! It makes it very personal for me! I just love cows! Thanks for being good to the animals on your farm! Tracee Cosme

Mary Arling says …

Their hard work is inspiring

Darcy Gervais says …

I like the fact that the Webbs took the initiative and started their own dairy farm. Life is all about taking chances and making positive changes! Good for them!! What an inspiration to alot of young people out there! :)

Aly Buis says …

I adore them! I want to be just like the Webbs! My husband and I are in our early 20's and I have always dreamed about running a farm. We live in a busy city in Florida and I can't stand it! I've been trying to convince my husband to move. We have just recently (since the start of the new year) discovered living organically and we love it! We are slowly transforming our lifestyle here in the city but I hope one day soon we too can be like the Webbs and live a sustainable life in the country and join the young organic farmers of America!! Thanks Stony Pond Farm and Organic Valley! What is it like living in Vermont?

Aili says …

This story is terrific. It shows that Americans can go back to their roots and invest in family farming and a simpler life. I am so happy to know that there are families out there that are willing to share their passion and provide healthy choices to the public. Bravo Webb family!

Pam says …

Bravo! It's so easy to be depressed these days...what a joy to hear a success story, and for a wonderful product!

D. Knight says …

It's great that they have built their dairy farm from the ground up (literally?). I love that their baby comes with them as they work on the farm :)

S Mitch says …

Very impressive to start it all from scratch! Our farmers are the best resource for our country. Everyone needs to remember that when they are eating every day. Without farmers, where would we be. Unfortunately, the government is makeing it harder every day to stay farmers. Give thanks for farmers!

Sara J. says …

Thank you for sharing your story, Webbs! It is so nice to read a personal story about your lives and the process you go through to provide us fresh Organic milk that is sustainable and healthy for everyone! I tell all my friends and family about your products, because we want to support farmer-owned companies like yours! Keep up the great work, and thank you for all you do!

Ty says …

Its awesome

Mari says …

I admire the Webbs for taking the risk. If only we all had the courage to following our dreams....

Hannah Mendenhall says …

I appreciate the value they put into creating a quality product. They are not out to get rich, but to produce the highest quality dairy they can. As a customer, I was glad to see where it all starts and know that I can trust Organic Valley even more as a solid product.

Samantha Salerno says …

This is wonderful! For those of us who cannot get the freshest food because we can't produce it ourselves, organic and local is the way to go! It's even better when it is produced by people who are PASSIONATE about what they do! I am very thankful that Orgnaic Valley family farmers provide the dairy for my family. The passion and care that goes into the Organic Valley farmers daily work is why we buy only Organic Valley products! Keep up the good work! In good health, Samantha

Rachel McCarver says …

I think its so amazing to see my generation doing something unorthodox. I, myself, have found great solace going back to the land in my early 20s and promoting healthy living without bio-engineered food stuffs. My family uses Organic Valley products, and just knowing that not only does that company support small organic farmers BUT the families themselves really have a great interest in giving back. Tyler and Melanie are an inspiration. Its incredible to listen to the knowledge that they have to give, even in just a small slide show. To listen to the passion just that Tyler uses when talking about the cattle that he chose...to hand raising calves...and how he does it. I'm amazed. It seems that while they took a leap of faith in doing this...in building a dairy farm that they have such heart. they will always succeed because they WANT this to work. They want to have the momentum to contribute to a public that craves something better. Thank you Tyler and Melanie.

john says …

Its nice to see the care and affection for the cows...they treat them better than some people treat one another.

Heather Taylor says …

Thank you so much! It is nice to know that there are still farmers out there like you!

katie hunt-morr says …

It's farmers like Melanie and Tyler that teach us there is room for products outside of factory farming. We can consume responsibly, treat animals well and respect the environment. These guys make it possible. Thanks to Whole Foods and Organic Valley for giving great farmers a means to get quality foods to urban consumers.

Natalie says …

I think this is inspiring. I love peeking into the lives of good farmers. The work is very tiring I imagine and I appreciate their efforts. Good job Tyler and Melanie!

Heather says …

I love stories like the Webbs, best of all I love Organic Valley Milk and Cottage Cheese. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!

Melanie says …

Happy cows! It was great to see the story of how the cottage cheese my family loves begins -- and it must be pretty good to know that -- at any given moment - the great milk that started with you is filling glasses at dinner tables near and far. Keep up the wonderful work, Webbs!

Julie says …

I think this story is amazing. I have never tried organic milk and i definately plan on trying it next time I go to the store! Thanks for all you are doing to make things safe for our bodies! keep up the good work! still amazed at how well kept and healthy your cows looked! ;))

Leslie Winsor says …

I love that the Webbs set out to do something they didn't have any experience in, but had a passion for! They followed their dream, and are working hard to keep the dream!

Kelli Lands says …

I am super impressed by all the hard work they put in. I also love how each of the cows have their own name and not just a number!

brenda p says …

Great encouraging story. Thank you Webb family! Got to try Organic Valley milk and products. Thank you for providing for our family:)

JennyE says …

Thank you to the Webb family. It's great to see that your shared dreams are coming true...I wonder how much non-grass the dairy cows for Organic Valley are fed. Jordan Rubin ("Garden of Life" & more) is now farming and, he makes sure his animals have LOTS of land and LOTS of grass. In fact, I saw in an Extraordinary Health mag that he describes the cattle as "green-fed" rather than "grass-fed".

Camille Ganpath says …

This is very interesting. My family drinks organic milk. I am definitely going to try Organic Valley next time I go grocery shopping. I started going organic when I had my baby girl. I try my best to do what I can to make her food choices healthy and nutritious. My husband and I have also realized that the taste of organic milk is so much better than what we grew up on and now drink more of it.

DanB says …

You don't see too many farms like this any more.

Josh says …

Wow, very cool. Love Organic Valley products! Well done.

Maria Boileau says …

Yet another story that inspires me. Very impressed with the gumption of this couple, no, family. Respecting the animals, the earth, and making a healthier product!

Susan says …

You'll always have a sweet spot for organic dairy farming when you watch this success story. What really makes this unique is the way it shows how the industry dominant Organic Valley supports the local farmer, and with sustainable energy too. Might be nice to see the Stony Pond Farm product origin and story on the Organic Valley package.

Christa St. Pierre says …

Very inspiring!

Amelia says …

Great story, very inspiring! And I love your milk!

Crystal says …

We love Organic Valley and always buy their creamer and cheese! Thank you Organic Valley for creating healthy, organic, great products!

samantha says …

Love oragnic eating!

Mimsy Doodle says …

I admire what the Webbs have done, especially since they did not grow up on a farm. Also, as they acknowledge the help and support that they get from Organic Valley, I commend them as well! Notice how spotless the milk barn is - I'll continue to buy their products. They are doing the good and right thing as farmers.

Katarina says …

I was open to this slideshow giving me a positive impression of a small,organic,eco-friendly family-run dairy farm. But the cheery tone and the images of this happy,united human family actually seemed to contrast sadly with the images of the confined cows. I appreciate that the company makes an effort to be transparent in their daily practices with this slideshow. However, the images helped to reinforce my discomfort with this type of human/animal "relationship".

Evgenia says …

It is inspiring to learn about this amazing couple! What they have managed to do is incredible and I have the deepest respect for them! Thank you for helping feed my children the best dairy out there!

Kathleen Conner says …

Obviously a passion--it makes me feel good buying organic!

Ann Kelly says …

This was certainly a feel good story. The Webbs were courageous to start on a venture without prior experience and make it work. I try to only buy organic products and Organic Valley is one of my favorites!

charlene says …

Seems like these products are from happy farmers as well as happy cows.

Paula says …

It is inspiring to hear about people are wanting to do the right thing when it is usually the more difficult way. I am happy to support them!

Kerry says …

Keeping God's earth as pure as when he created it.. Awesome!!

Arline Saiki says …

I have to say that I am grateful to be able to purchase organic milk so easily, thanks to the dedication and hard work of people like the Webbs. The many health problems in this country can be linked at least in part, to pesticides and chemicals in our food and water. For our part, we try to buy organic as much as possible and fortunately with more people jumping on the bandwagon, it is becoming less expensive to do so. I am so glad that Organic Valley is in the forefront of this movement. Thanks so much!

Keith says …

having passion for what you do is what it's all about. great job!

Maggie Yount says …

Love that your contributing good, healthy food to our broken food system! Thanks :)

Christopher Sorel says …

I wish there were more young farmers like them. They are great and happy to see such hard work put into a great company and product. This is the reason to buy from good people and companies for a quality product.

Tracy says …

How neat! I love that he took a chance to try something completely new. I wish I was that driven about something.

Kelli Klein says …

I was so excited when my local store started carrying Organic Valley. Great company and an amazing start-up story to boot. Inspiring!

Malinda Shepherd says …

I love that you guys left New York to become organic dairy farmers in Vermont! I am a huge fan of Organic Valley's products-my fave is probably the pasture butter, which I could quite possibly eat straight-up (I restrain myself, somehow). Keep making your delicious dairy goods!!!!

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