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

Jena Lemoine says …

I purchase your products & from watching this video I have just become an even bigger fan! Also, I am encouraged & motivated by do what's possible & before you know it you have done the impossible!!! Thank you!!

erica says …

I love organic foods and organic valley does a great job at providing me with everything i need. i have never had any problems with any of their products, therefore, i ALWAYS trust them!

Tamara says …

I love Organic Valley Half 'n Half. Loved this video so much I am going to buy other Organic Valley products too.

Meg says …

As someone who has seen first hand the importance of buying good farm raised milk and soy products- I wish the Webbs all the best!

Ana says …

This is story is so inspirational. It's amazing how far your beliefs and values take you if you let them. It is so easy to take the easy route and not live to your full potential but when you do, you'll never regret you did.

John says …

I go to Whole foods sometimes just to buy Organic Valley chocolate milk. It's the best.

Daniela says …

What a great story! Thanks for sharing!

Rachel Knebs says …

Harming is so much more demanding than people realize. Thank you for your committment to being organic and all that you do!

Erin says …

What a great story! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Diana E. says …

I love reading about companies who obviously really care about our health and the health of our environment. The farmers highlighted in this story exemplify promoting quality standards, a caring for the earth, and how two people just making small steps can yield great results. Way to go Stony Pond Farm and Organic Valley!!

Chad Woehrle says …

Love your products. But your cottage cheese is the best we have ever tatsted. Keep up the good work and thank you for providing us a quality product. Chad WOehrle

Venkata Nambori says …

We support the Webbs, as they rejuvenate the soil and dignify life forms and the circle of life. Aren't we all supposed to be like this !!

Julie says …

What a wonderfuly fulfilling life; making a real difference for your family and all of us. Thank you for loving your cows, your hard work of which you should be very proud and for making products that are good for infants to seniors! Well done!

Kendra says …

Yay organic dairy! The milk tastes so much better! And it's nice to know the cows are being taken care of.

J'Layne Sundberg says …

I think their hard work is a testament to the paradigm shift we are experiencing with the food industry in general. People are willing to work hard for something they believe in- not just for a paycheck. This is truly meaningful for us as consumers and employees! I can say that any other brand of dairy products makes my stomach hurt. Organic Valley is the only brand that doesn't cause this ailment for me. These farmers and suppliers are doing right by me- and countless others out there! Way to go!

Amanda Welch says …

There is only one dairy left in my county. There used to be many. I hope there will be more local dairies in the future!

Denise Michell says …

Tyler & Melanie's story touched my heart. It's amazing that by taking a soil class in college not just changed Tyler's path in life but touched millions by providing safe, healthy dairy for our families. Sounds like devine interventions, Praise the Lord!!

Ben says …

I love your products the only thing that can make them better is free :-)

JC says …

I love hearing about individuals and organizations working together to better our food! We should be very thankful for families like the Webbs. I'm also glad to hear that Organic Valley is using renewable resources for a part of their production processes. Now more than ever is the time to start changing the way we view our food, where it comes from, and how we are producing it. Thanks for sharing the blog post!

amber says …

I'm incredibly inspired by stories like the Webbs. It makes me feel as though any dream is possible given enough dedication and passion.

Rebecca-Marie says …

I think it is wonderful how his fascination came to be and that they decided to take a leap of faith with this farm even though the odds were against them and with no experience they have created something so wonderful that benefits so many people now and I believe that it will just keep getting better!

Jen Hill says …

How inspiring! As a person who would like to have their own food-related business, I love hearing success stories that started with taking a big chance!!!

April says …

I think it is awesome what they are doing, and what I hope to do in the future as well! The long hard work you put in totally pays out in the end, and I'm not even talking about money but so much more. I started an organic community garden this year and though the work I put into it at first was more than I bargained for, I look back and wouldn't of traded it for anything. So thankful to be part of the solution and sowing into a better future, and that's what I see these young farmers doing as well. So thankful for their hard work!

Kamil Kecki says …

so awesome!

Wil Grant says …

I'm incredibly impressed. Those two have completely changed my views of the potential for sustainable organic dairy farming. I only use organic dairy in my food and drinks now, but given the current economic times, I've been hesitant to think because of the slightly higher prices that it is a sustainable industry. My doubts have been dulled recently after seeing that retailers like Kroger and Target have turned a new leaf and noticed the demand for these products, and I can see why. Tyler and Melanie look super happy, and I'm glad that the products I buy every week are supporting a couple like the Webbs. Great story! Thanks for sharing :)

Cintra Dougdeen says …

Nice to know "organic" products are becoming readily available especially with people like the Webbs who care.

Adela Vanremoortere says …

It's great to know that I can still purchase healthy milk from the Organic Valley being reassured that it's coming from young inspiring famers like the Webbs producing milk like it may have been 50 years when as a child mom just knew that a bottle of milk just contained milk. Thanks to people like Stony Pond Farm.

Ashlee Henry says …

I agree with Samantha. Very inspiring. Besides, organic foo not only tastes better but it also allows for farmer owned co-ops to stay afloat. Great for the economy.

Kara says …

I never ceased to be amazed at how many 1st generation farmers there are out there nowadays. It's so exciting! The Webbs are a fantastic example of fearless living. Well done, Webbs! Thanks to Whole Foods for introducing us to the people that produce our food.

Tim says …

LOVE the raw milk cheeses from OV. I trust some of the milk required came from the Webbs!

Diana Beedle says …

Loooove My orgánic valley milk chocolate every morning & evening- although im 28!

Heather Carlson says …

I think the movement of organic farming and just farming in general by younger people is fabulous. Coming from a dairy farm background I know how hard it can be sometimes. Unfortunately my familys farm was small and we had to sell in the 90's but these small farms returning gives me hope for the future of farming to succeed.

Carissa says …

It's amazing the amount of hard work that goes into producing food! I appreciate that they're willing to put in the hard work!

Mona says …

The Webbs' hard work, care and passion strengthens my appreciation of Organic Valley as a brand and their products knowing there are farmers like the Webbs who are behind it all. One can tell from the way they speak how they respect and care for the animals. I was also impressed that the Webbs took the extra step in having the farm energy assessed to make improvements which help them and mother earth. And all this as first time farmers from scratch, wow!

Joel Asker says …

What an inspiring story! Knowing about the people and their stories behind where our foods come from is an intergral aspect of being mindful not only of where our food comes from, but where we spend our hard earned dollars.

Nathan says …

Fantastic! Always great to hear someone with courage.

Rachel says …

I think it's so brave of you to take such a huge risk starting a big project without knowing if you could pull it off. Stories like this really inspire me and others to take those small steps. If those people can quit their jobs and start an organic dairy farm, I can grow some vegetables in my back yard!

Louise says …

This just makes me even happier about my milk! : ) and it is making me seriously consider becoming a dairy farmer! Thanks so much!

Katie Jean says …

I am extremely grateful for this new generation of entrepreneurs, who are taking a risk to do business with "the Whole" of the planet in mind. It is a break from the mainstream "me-only" attitude, but it is a surefire way of evolving this planet and humanity to the next level. Thank you. Thank you for working hard with the Earth, and thank you Whole Foods for supporting such wonderful businesses and ethics. ~Katie Jean, The Faery Queen's Cupboard

Anne Hagenbuch says …

Even though I am allergic to milk I believe the story and the ability for people to change what consumers have is amazing. Organic farming is a great way to preserve the enviroment and ensure generations to come have resources available to them.

Deb Anderson says …

I'm impressed because being any kind of "farmer" these days is difficult at best. To accomplish what they have is very inspiring.

Sherry Hutton says …

Awesome story. Love knowing where my dairy comes from and that they are happy and well cared-for cows! And clean!

Heather Meadows says …

I think their efforts are awesome. as someone who has found dairy and proteins raised with poor feed, hormones and drugs make me have a world of gastrointestinal issues, as well as aggravates my nerve pain from fibromyalgia i champion ppl who work to make sure i can buy products that do not make me sick. They are a blessing! I also think ithe secrets to keeping these things healthy are smaller operations. Just more of them.

Linda Lind says …

Very inspiring story and quite a commitment they have made. We love Organic Vally products and knowing where our milk comes from. Enjoyed watching this video with the Webb's.

Gretchen Cecere says …

Wow! How inspiring. Tyler and Melanie, what you are doing is astounding. Thanks for reminding me that I have the ability to do what I want to see done! And thank you for the wonderful tasting dairy :) The work you both put into your operation really makes the difference to the customer. I pray for the best for you guys! And Wyatt has some pretty amazing parents!

Courtney Corcoran says …

What they do is amazing. I wish more people ha integrity about farming. Thank you so much !!!!

Lucia says …

Awesome story! Amazing dedication!

Cindi says …

It's encouraging that there are people who really have a desire to farm and to farm organically. Also that there are companies like Organic Valley that actually help them do it & do it better!

Hillary says …

This story is another tale of hard work paying off. They should be especially proud for the cause that they are working for. There is nothing better than knowing you are feeding your family quality organic food:).

helenlam says …

Wonderful story! I am a big fan of Organic Valley!

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