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.

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.

521 comments

Comments

Rulena says …

Truly inspiring story!

Krista Andersen says …

Love stories like this! Go Webbs! We need more farmers like these.

Emma says …

I never thought I would find interest in farming before last year. I went abroad to Finland and stayed with a family of dairy farmers and a family that farmed grains. I came home with a completely different outlook on everything. I try to support local farmers as much as I can when buying my groceries. I also changed my major in school from astrophysics to environmental science and forest resources. The fact that the Webbs were brave enough to start dairy farming is inspiring. It is nice to know that part of the younger generation is interested in agriculture as well. Cheers for the Producers of Produce:)

claire lippe says …

This video really gives me hope and motivation. I am a young, extremely passionate human being concerned to restore the food cycle and localism. Just like the couple in the story, I want to one day soon be able to work some land sustainably to sustain my self and family. Like the Webbs, I am the new generation of farmers, small but effective.

Traci Hall says …

I love Organic Valley Milk! I just finished off a half gallon today. Must get to Whole Foods asap.

Misty Brewster says …

I love Organic Valley milk! This is the only milk I give my two year old! If my grocery store is out, I drive across town just get your milk! I trust where this product comes! Thank you for suppling my child with a wholesome product!

Jessie says …

Well im honored to post some about organic farmers like yourself. Almost 3years ago i went totally organic for me and my family. I admire the dedication and the energy that it.takes not to.follow in the footsteps of the the pesticide.farmers. I am not saying.they.dont work hard but being.an organic.farmer.means you care.and your passionate about it. Thank you for giving so much back to me and my family! I will continue.to.buy your products.to support u!!!

colleen gilgenbach says …

Thank you, thank you for giving us organic goodness!

Jason Crandell says …

I really enjoy knowing there are still not only people but young people willing to work hard and take the initiative to make a difference with a little vision that turned to reality! I think we all can learn from them, I know I have and will be inspired to turn my dreams to life!

Suzette says …

I love Organic Valley products and love their story!! If you find what you love and can do that every day, then you're living the dream!!!

Nettie Crandell says …

Thank you so much for working so hard from start until finish! Thank you for working to give everyone a really great product free of nasty chemicals and everything else!!!

Jonathan says …

This story is pretty awesome, another classic tale of how hard work, passion and perseverance pays off. I love Organic Valley products!

Tracee McCoy says …

My son (22 months) loves Organic Valley Milk, I only shop with grocers who sell it...! Love your story and please know that you two are appreciated. Thank You!!!

Nina Giselle says …

Its inspiring to see young people pursuing sustainable and humane farming. This is a perfect example of living what you believe in. They managed to find a company to supply to that shares their beliefs, and learned everything they needed to to make their dream a reality. Its amazing to see hoe well all of their hard work paid off!

Lucy says …

Great article.

KIM ANDREWS says …

I think it's great they had the time, resources, motivation, and passion to start this farm

Katrina Langenderfer says …

Fantastic Story! Jersey cows are a great breed and the ones in the video are some of the happiest cows I have ever seen!

Sandra Jaffe says …

Tyler and Melanie Webb are to be commended for the hard work they do to keep their world and others organic. More than ten years ago my homeopathic physician told me to eat and drink organic foods. At that time our world was not as knowledgable about eating organic as it is today. I now do my best to find the best in organic foods and drinks. "Kudos" to Whole Foods and the Webbs and their young child giving so much to make the world a better place.

debbie pettyjohn says …

I love that so many people have the desire and passion that I have. You have actually fulfilled a dream and that is completely awesome especially coming from the city and not being raised on a farm. It can be culture shock to certain people but if you love what you do then there will never be a problem that you can not overcome. I also love that you use renewable resources to help with your farm. This is the life I aspire to have one day, rather sooner than later. Good luck in all that you do and strive to do more.

Grant Carlson says …

Love your milk and all the handwork you do to keep it so healthy. Props to you!

Kathleen McCandless says …

Inspiring. I feel so thankful for these family farmers who produce milk from ethically treated cows and care about the surrounding ecosystem too. It really is all connected!

Marieke Goates says …

Very inspiring story!

Kelly says …

Great job, you are truly dedicated and you provide quality products from your "family" to ours. I was also impressed with the cleanliness of your farm.

Lindy says …

I have gotten picky about which organic products I'll buy, since many organic products are still produced on cruel factory farms. That is why I have become Organic Valley's biggest fan, because they support great family farms like Tyler and Melanie's! Great spotlight. Happy cows. Love it.

Elaine Jewell says …

Our younger son will only drink Organic Valley Milk! We even gave him a 'blind' taste test using OV, and one other organic milk and some store brand milk. He took one taste of the store brand, and said, Ick. That is not good milk! He picked out his favorite - 2% Organic Valley Milk! Keep up the good work:-) Lanie Jewell

Stephanie says …

What they've done is inspirational and such a beautiful story. I hope to take risks in my life as they have! And for such a wonderful cause!

Annie says …

Real cool story..... I feed my family and myself a ton of your Organic Valley products. We love your products! It's so awesome to learn that you have energy efficient ways. I'm totally impressed in what I learned from this video and story. Congrats on your success. Thanks for producing tasty Organic products for myself and my family.

Katie says …

Many people forget about family farms, but living I'm Wisconsin, I pass them everyday. A refreshing blog post :)

Kristie says …

I think they have done a wonderful job & they are helping to keep us healthy! Organic food is the best!

Shauna says …

My cousin in Ireland runs the dairy farm that's been in the family for generations. It's very difficult work and there's no time for vacation. I admire the work ethic that takes and I know I could never do it! If it was the only way I could have cheese, however, I would definitely buck up and do it.

Joyce McIntyre says …

American is the land of opportunity. Mr. & Mrs. Webb have demonstrated that thru hard work, teamwork, and the American dream, it is possible to make their dreams come true. My sincere wishes for a continued and successful dairy farm business to them! Keep on milking, Tyler & Melanie.

Terry says …

Great products from many persevering family farm co-ops is the "whey" to go!!!

Mikki Cross says …

I think the Webb's are doing a responsible and encouraging way of living.

Melanie Hoerchner says …

Wow...I love Organic Valley! And my name is Melanie too! :)

Elle Varga says …

I LOOOVVVVVEEEE Organic Valley products. Their milk is so amazing. I have been lactose intolerant all my years, however, this is the only organic milk that I'm capable of drinking in moderation. I use their organic half and half as well. A plus to going organic is that it's healthier. In addition, the government does not regulate ORGANIC dairy and organic product lasts longer than regular store/non-organic products.

Barbara Werle says …

I just returned from San Francisco to New York with a new appreciation for whole foods, because of the Whole Foods stores that are available to shop at in CA. How I appreciate farmers like Melanie and Tyler Webb! I'd gone to health food stores for 30 years, but it's DIFFERENT when every product is grown, supplied for your real health! I'd've been very nervous about starting such a HUGE project, but I'm sure they will never regret their hard work!

Telisa says …

I really admire Tyler,Melanie for their love,integrity,commitment to changing their lives and taking on the challenges required to do something they believe in and making a difference in not only their health but many families all over the world healthier. Thank You. You two are my heroes. Telisa (South Florida)

Amber Keel says …

This work is so important. Pure, whole organic food and running/supporting local family farms is so important to me and my family and truly the world as a whole. We need sustainable, local and organic food to become the norm. Everybody deserves to be healthy, eat healthy and be surrounded with local, sustainable food. You are simply amazing Mr. and Mrs. Webb!

Cynthia says …

It's inspiring to see that they followed their dream and successfully made the move to farming life without prior experience. Hopefully many others will follow and we will see the return of the family farm.

Estela K. says …

I appreciate the Webbs venturing on this new business out of their personal convictions about the environment and health.

Renee says …

Running the dairy farm is very admirable work, especially since farming is not in their background. It's even more admirable how they are embracing organic and green initiatives methods of farming. I hope this inspiring couple keeps up the good work!

Frank says …

Nice job keep up the good hard work!!!

Kaitlyn says …

I love that they made the impossible happen! It's impressive that they grew up in the suburbs of NY and yet decided to start farming- Love it. All you need is hard work and it can be done.

nikki says …

Restructuring your life is amazing. To go.from nyc burbs to farming organically, takes a strength that 99% of people do not have, so find the webbs story amazing and the test of true strength and faith in one another. Supplying healthy food to tons of people is a bug hearted strength and responsibilty. Thank you!

Pam Barckholtz says …

What a smart young man and woman to recognize the value of organic farming and to dedicate their time and energy to the development of an organic dairy farm! I am so appreciative of their work and their contribution to a healthy food supply. Not only are they helping other families raise children who are not exposed to chemicals and harmful practices that will stay with them a lifetime, they are also contributing to a healthy environment. Feeding your children healthy food, helping to save the planet, helping to provide healthy choices to others--what more could they do! Yea Tyler and Melanie!

wanda dixon says …

I think Tyler and Melanie success story is an aspiring story for someone who doesn't have farming experience. This story tells me that you if you have imagination and drive you can achieve anything you put your mind. Congratulation Tyler and Melanie for taking on such an enormous idea to create a market with good organic and healthy food.

George Argyros says …

What an inspiring story! Tyler and Melanie achieve the impossible everyday just by trying. A lesson for us all. Thanks for sharing and thanks to folks like the Webbs who help nourish our bodies and souls with their labors of love.

Carolyn says …

Keep up the great work. It is a pleasure to pick up your milk from our groceries dairy case every week. My grandson went on whole milk since age one, now three years old, and he wakes up every morning asking for his milk. When he returns at noon from nursery school we have to have his cup of mil in the car because that is the first thing he asks for. We feel confident that he is getting the best when he drinks your milk. Wishing Tyler and Melanie good luck. Hard work pays off!

Lea mercer says …

Wow we all could use one of these couples in every neighborhood. Just think how blessed and educated your children would be. Saving and cultivating this earth is whats needed big time.

Megan Siegal says …

This is an awesome story. They should be very proud of themselves, starting a dairy farm from scratch is an amazing accomplishment. Hearing from the actual farmers and making a connection with them makes me feel really confident about purchasing Organic Valley products, so thanks to Whole Foods for bringing the producers and the consumers together!

Pages