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

Kristin says …

Love Organic Valley Products! Its the only brand that I will feed my kids!

Mark Manz says …

It's awesome and admirable what they've done. Coming from a similar background (NY suburbs) I don't have much (or any) experience with farming but I am very interested in learning. Love what they're doing, keep it up!

Carmen says …

What an inspiration the Webb's are! Thank you for your dedication and passion for making organic dairy products!

Pamela Craig says …

I think the Webbs are amazing people! It is so nice to see the younger generation giving their all on something they believe in!!!!! Way to go!!!!

Blanca Hanus says …

It gives me hope when I read about stories like the Webb family for my own family. Truly inspirational! I love your products!

kris soholt says …

I also live in a rural setting and although my passion is raising ponies, I can completely relate to to this story! And being a part of the Organic Valley family is knowing that you are producing food in a healthy and natural way... KUDOs to this family, and my favorites: Organic Valley whole milk and Organic Valley Half and Half.. the ultra pasteurized products always seem to taste fresh longer.

Maggie says …

What an inspiring story, great job, Webbs! Keep up the great work OV! Our family loves your products!

Laurie says …

So inspiring that the took the leap to start an organic dairy with no experience. I hope they are successful for years to come.

Donna Johnson says …

Inspirational! wish there were more people like them, the world would be a better place!

Karen Taylor says …

The Webbs just prove the point - anything is possible when you put your heart and soul into making a product/business humane and healthy.

Katie Gardom says …

Very Cool to watch a couple with no farming background to start farming! I love it! I was raised on an organic dairy farm before people really knew what it even was. It was a great way to grow up!

Angela S says …

What a great couple. And those are the cutest cows I've ever seen!

Amalie says …

Great work, Webbs!

Erika says …

I often wonder if I would have what it takes to just move to the country and start farming. This story of success is encouraging and once again stirs up those feelings, "what if we tried...?" I can also confidently say that if I saw someone in my grocery store wearing Organic Valley clothing, I would shake their hands and thank them for their wonderful dairy products.

Judy Keller says …

I only buy organic milk and it's the best! Keep up the good work!

Sally Wavrick says …

Dear Melanie and Tyler: I think you two are pioneers to quit your jobs in the City and fix up an old farm. I only Organic Valley skim milk and used to live in Westport, CT and went to Vermont every chance I got. I worked for Nynex selling Nortel PBX and key systems in the City , Fairfield, Putnam and Westchester County. I used to spend every summer on the farm in Canada milking the cows, riding on the hay wagon, running the separator and pumping water from the well. Those were the days before milking machines. My daughter and family spend August every year at Haystack. they live in Brooklyn. I have 3 grandchildrenm LilyRose, 11, Nick, 14 and Matt, 16. Good luck with your farm. I live in Sarasota, Florida now and am semi-retired. I do food demos at local markets, Home Depot and Lowes. Sally Wavrick

Sophie says …

Very inspiring, as others have said. It's hard to put yourself out on the line like that, especially at a young age. Good for them! :)

Debra Miller says …

I have to admire city people with no previous experience with farming to begin such a difficult endeavor. They are educated and were willing to reach out for assistance. Congratulations to them!

Janis Dority says …

What an inspiring story! Good for you both for going for it and making this happen in your lives and by way of great product our lives. BTW the cows and calfs are just so lovely and sweet faced how could you not love a heard of gentle creatures like those!?!

sarah rugwiro says …

What an awesome story, awesome family! Not an easy life to live! Much appreciation and respect for all your hard work Webb family! I love Organic Valley products.

Keiva says …

What an inspiring story!

Dorothy Tellez says …

Im so happy to see young farmers. With America losing sso many family farms to factory farms w BGH. And soy milk having GMOS I count on you guys. Thank you!

Michelle says …

Thanks for the blog post! It's interesting how they got into farming even though neither of them had farming in their backgrounds.

Betsy Fitzpatrick says …

It sounds like the Webbs embody the renaissance of small-time farming in this country. Here in southwest Colorado, we have many similar small farmers and there is significant support for their entrepreneurial spirit and the quality local food they produce. Keep up the good work!

Carolee Larimar says …

i think that this is true to the meaning of life, and more true to what my native culture lived long ago. being with your family, and living from what mother nature provides shows that we have the capacity to be a culture that values life.

Sherri ODell says …

Hey my maiden name is Webb! Thanks for all of the hard work you do on the farm!!

cambryn reichert says …

Love love love this story! It's great to put a face to our food~specially Organic foods! It's wonderful for your story to be placed out there for other young people and anyone of any age to do the same in their lives. With so much attempts to shut down Organic farms these days and dairy it's really enlightening to see you guys doing so well!

Rachel Benoit says …

I'm so grateful to young farmers like the Webbs! I grew up in a traditional farming county of Illinois in the 80s, and the amount of pesticides used was truly frightening. Now my cousin and her husband and baby have an organic produce farm there and I get their weekly CSA here in the suburbs. It's great that old dairy farm sites are going organic too!

Megan says …

I am so jealous. I tried to have an organic orchard and just couldn't financially make it. More power to you guys!!!!!!

Leesa Gilmore says …

amazing what you can do when you set your mind to do something god for the world and being persistent,determined and focused.Alot of hard work too! Kudos to you guys! You are A M A Z I N G!!

heather says …

Neat!

Berkeley Franz says …

Love this story! I admire the courage to quit your job and start an organic farm. It is definitely a dream of mine and thankfully my husband shares that dream :) I have always love their products and now feel even better about buying them!

Jamie C. says …

Awesome...happy cows come from Organic Valley!

Heather Fieldhack says …

What a fabulous story you two have! Very inspriational. I buy only Organic Valley milk. it is a good feeling to be supporting this type of business.

Sean Murphy says …

Love Organic Valley farmers! We've contemplated the same kind of career change. Haven't taken the plunge yet but perhaps in a few years. Congrats to the Webb family!

pao says …

Wonderful story! I love the quote ''you do what's possible and then before you know it, you've done the impossible''

Dana says …

What a great story! I love Organic Valley and admire all the farmers that make their products possible!

Kem Corbitt says …

I am so glad that there are farms like yours. It helps me to ensure that my children eat the best possible food. Seeing me prepare organic foods shows my children a better way to eat, ensuring a lifetime of good choices. Thanks yall....

Cheryl says …

Thank you Organic Valley for your vision! The world and many people's diets are bettered.

Shelly Myers says …

I love to hear about the farmers behind the great food. It is a great reminder to all of us about how food should be produced and how farm animals should be treated. And it reminds us that quality food is hard work and if it's more expensive...it's worth it to support these hard working, dedicated people!

Marti Andrews says …

What a wonderful piece. I love the Webb's commitment to and enthusiasm for their organic dairy. When we first decided to go organic it felt like an uphill battle to find organic products, but farmers like The Webb family have made the organic lifestyle attainable for everyone. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and the drive that turned your dream into a reality!

Keith Line says …

Love organic farmers!

Kem Corbitt says …

what an inspiration, it makes me think I could do something else with my life. Im also very thankful for farms like yours. You are giving me the opportunity to teach my children a better way to eat

jenni says …

Yay for you and your family and your happy cows! I <3 organic valley milk and it is the only one I serve to my three kids. We also have solar power for our hot water, but not enough wind for the turbine. You are doing your part to save the environment and I commend you.

Caitlin says …

I think it is so awesome the Webbs have put so much energy into their farm. Because of dedicated people and families like them, my family and I are able to go to our store and buy organic milk (free of all those hormones). Thank you Webb family and other organic dairy farmers.

Ali Minor says …

I love hearing about the families behind the label - what an uplifting story! I am so happy to see that there are young folks who are interested in dairy farming and are bringing sustainable practices into the picture. The cows look very healthy and happy, and so does the baby! Lovely!

Barbara Nicholson says …

Wow! That is such a great story of following a dream and commitment to make a difference. I wish I had had that kind of motivation and drive when I was that young.

Zenilda Thompson says …

Thanks Tyler and Melanie!!

lili bee lee says …

I think job well done we need more farms like this!

Nora Rodriguez says …

Reading about the Webb family encourages me to become a young farmer. I think what they are doing is wonderful and is making a difference in people's lives. Organic Valley forever!! :~)

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