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

M Wondoloski says …

It is inspiring that young people are looking toward a more organic/green lifestyle and doing something about it so that others, like myself, can also benefit from it. I know that they are working very hard to provide us with such wonderful products and I know it can be especially hard in the times we are in. They are certianly not becoming millionaires with this venture, but hopefully the satisfaction in knowing they are truly making a difference for today's and future generations will be enough to carry them through!

Nico says …

You guys are awesome, we love that moving to VT allowed us to be on a first name basis with the family that produces our dairy. Plus how sick to hang out with your farmer at a Phish show? VT is a great place thanks to people like the Webbs!!!

Leaha says …

Thisstory reminds me of why i switched to all organic. The proof is in the taste that this is the way we were ment to eat.

Pamela Wolszon says …

Way to Go Webb's! Your are an inspiration to the Organic community. Love it, Love it, Love it!!!

Pamela Wolszon says …

Way to Go Webb's! Your are an inspiration to the Organic community. Love it!!!

Debbie Glett says …

I got teary eyed watching this video. I grew up milking cows myself, chasing those calves around, feeding cows, running wild & free in the country. I know how physical the work is and there is never a day off from milking cows!! My sisters, cousins & I are all adults now, & at a recent family reunion we laughed ourselves silly telling stories about growing up on the farms. That last minute hay baling as the storm clouds rolled in, cows getting out, getting chased by an owl in the barn, sitting on the front step surrounded by kittens in the early morning. I come from a background of farming, a few generations of it... I cannot imagine starting this from scratch without a farming background. You guys really are amazing and I congratulate you. You are giving your son a childhood he'll cherish, feeding families real food, AND giving mother earth some TLC as well. Thank you Tyler & Melanie and thank you organic valley. This is truly the direction to go!!

Michele says …

I'm humbled by your ability,passion and hard work. Its farmers like you that allows me to provide organic,wholesome products into my home,for myself and my family to enjoy everyday. You are amazing and so incredibly inspiring. Thank you so much.

Karen Entenza says …

It is evident that Webbs have a passion for what they are doing. They started with a clear goal of producing high-quality milk and considered all aspects such as caring for the cows properly and pricing for the customer. Taking the big picture and breaking it down into smaller managable steps is how they achieved success in their dream. Now, not only are they living a life they love, they are committed producing the best quality milk for a reasonable price. I believe that is why Organic Valley includes them in thier network of suppliers and that is why I trust and choose Organic Valley for my dairy products.

Mark S says …

I do enjoy the Organic Valley products. It's nice to see they have a real commitment to organic and sustainable agriculture and it's not just a buzzword.

Jennifer Boin says …

What an inspirational story of the Webbs! I love what Tyler said "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". With a vision, hard work and humilty they have accomplished greatnes together. Thanks for the great products and a beautiful story.

madalina anghel says …

Thank God for our farmers! Thank You Tyler and Melanie Webb for your hard work,for your love and pasion for the farm.Because of people like you we are able to give our families best products ever! You guys are amazing!Thank yuou again and again!

Andrew C says …

What amazing inspirations for those of us on our journey's towards the organic, natural food sources, and ways of life. :) They make me smile. That these two can make their dream happen, to be organic dairy farmers, makes me realize the potential for all of our lives to be lived fully and with purpose. :)

Michelle says …

I think their dedication in starting their farm is inspiring!

J. Chee says …

I have tried different brands of organic milk and by nothing beats the taste of Organic Valley. I was inspired to read the story not for the gift card, but to truly appreciate the love and dedication that is put into making Organic Valley products. Awesome, awesome job! May the Lord continue to prosper you Tyler and Melanie.

Jessie says …

What a great story about people who care about what they're doing and do work for what they care about. Very inspiring!

Morlie says …

AMAZING! The Webbs are brave and courageous for taking a passionate leap into the unknown, they are a true inspiration!

Ashley F. says …

I find their story comforting as deepens my trust in organic dairy farmers. As a new mother I try my hardest to put healthy foods on the table. Knowing that some companies, including many that are family or farmer owned, still believe in hard work and honesty only makes me feel better about buying their foods. Thank you whole foods for putting Organic Valley foods on the shelves and Tyler and Melanie thank you for producing such wonderful products!

Cathy says …

I think what you are doing is wonderful! I was raised on a farm and believe there is nothing like growing up on a farm learning about food, animals, and just the freedom of the, " good ole' out doors" Wyatt is one lucky young man.

Myra says …

We need more people like the Webbs to turn around the state of our food industry in this country. We are an unhealthy nation, being fed off on 'food' with artificial additives and harmful chemical byproducts. This has led us to become fat and lazy in the physical sense, but also has affected our minds and spirits. We need to get back to a natural way of living in order to shape up. Hopefully, re-energizing our insides will lead us to becoming the brightest mings and optismitic people that Americans are traditionally note for!

christina horst says …

I love that you are providing healthy and yummy dairy products for consumers like myself who want a better product! As a young woman who grew up on a dairy farm I can appreciate all your hard work!

Deanne Ziadie says …

As a new budding amateur female farmer of medicinal herbs and plants, I'm learning the ropes and working through the challenges of the stuck mindset, "will this work." It's stories like the Webb's that not only open up the horizon for young farmers but show America that "Yes we can" value food, health, and getting our hands in the dirt. We can take initiatives in our daily lives even if just small ones that can benefit future generations to come. I love the fact that little Wyatt (their baby) is a part of the WHOLE process of this WHOLE story. As Waitley, Denis quotes, "Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing." Imagine that, Thank you WholeFoods for sharing The Webb's story.

jeanine linsalata says …

I feel so great giving my children; both born and unborn organic valley products knowning that there are people pouring themselves into this product.

Alison says …

It's amazing what they are able to accomplish being so young and not coming from a farming background! I'm so glad there are young people out there who care about doing what's right for the environment and providing healthy organic dairy products for the rest of us!

Beth Hall says …

Tyler and Melanie are great...but Lil' Webb is one cutie. With parents like this he's sure to grow up strong with great values and a keen sense of his role in stewarding the land and its creatures. Good farming...Good parenting...Yummy foods!

Kathy Cheng says …

Loved the story, and love that Whole Foods supports local, independent small businesses.

justin says …

Awesome work.

Elizabeth Bailey says …

I love their courage in beginning a venture in the unfamiliar world of farming! What a wonderful example of jumping in wholeheartedly to do something that you are passionate about! You both have left me inspired and eager to dream & live.

Nermari says …

It's amazing how they were able to leave everything they knew to make their dream a reality. And today my family drinks their milk through Organic Valley. Thanks for sharing this, really great!

Jamie Gilbert says …

I think it's really cool that even at their young age they already know what they want to do with their lives. Also, it really interesting seeing how a normal day for them goes.

Subeena says …

I use your milk. Thank you. It tastes great! I am glad to see all the hard work you are putting forth behind this to produce real organic milk. I will continue to support your hard work by purchasing this from the store whenever possible.

Dorene says …

An inspiring story!

Barbara Roberts says …

I think they have an amazing story! Too many people today are willing to go with the norm and give the products to their families from government controlled companies that are not looking out for the best interest of the consumer, environment, animal, etc. It is awesome to see a family that is striving and working hard to provide a quality life to the cows and a safe product to it's consumers, all while preserving our environment!!! Great job!!

wendy says …

I really think its great to know that there is people in the world that care about us on this planet, its really wonderful i really am intouch with nature, so i really understand the work they are doing to supply us with best possible milk & other item they are producing that comes from cows. I came down with a health condition in which i had to change diet to Organic , i love the transitions i feel really great!!!. Thanks again!!! & really appreciate what they have to sell out there. Thank you sooooo Much love & respect to you and family .. & if ever you need help you can alway email me :)

Samantha says …

I love that they too a risk and it paid off and they seems happier than ever! So many people seem to be afraid to make the change to organic, especially because of the cost. But Organic Valley provideds delicious products at a fair price!

Cory says …

I have always had a desire to pursue a lifestyle like that. There's a great sense of accomplishment in that kind of work. Office jobs that I've had usually suck life out of you. Hmmm....I'm talking myself into something.

Steven ralser says …

I wouldn't want to do it, but I appreciate those that do. Congratulations on their achievement.

Summer says …

The Webb's story is inspiring and hits home for me - My oldest brother just bought a run down mandarin farm (here in California) and is bringing it back to life. Witnessing first hand the hard work and struggles in this type of venture, I say "hats off" to the Webb Family for sticking to their beliefs and dreams. Cheers.

Rosemary says …

What an inspirational story. I'm so glad there are young pioneers out there living their dreams and receiving such great support from others with the knowledge and expertise.

Danielle Swindell says …

This short video goes to show what can be accomplished through good ole American ambition and determination. And it shows, that you can do this without giving up on value and morales. Organic Valley is great; great for the environment; great for both the farmers and the patrons. Sewing the seeds of clean living into the brains of the people. Good work!

lynn says …

I think the Webbs are inspiring! I wish I could leave my day job to start an orgaic farming operation!

wendy says …

I thinks its awesome that this, and other farms exist through their hard work, I can feed my newborn good food to keep her organic and not radioactive like me. Lol...

Wendy says …

This is a great story! I love to support farmers that have the same values that I have of caring for the animals and the earth, as well as providing the best nutrition possible. I am very thankful for their dedication and hard work! Woo Hoo Tyler and Melanie!

gina says …

Its wonderful that they felt the passion to follow this path. I am glad there are others that have rediscovered the farming life and is part of the renewal of the rural American lifestyle.

LeAnna says …

The Webb's story is very inspiring and just reaffirms my decision to buy Organic Valley product. I hope they continue to be successful!

Jean says …

In this day and time, O-R-G-A-N-I-C should not be second choice to any family. I just heard the other day that some canteloupes have been tainted with samonella, and now are unedible. Kudos to Tyler and Melanie for taking such a giant step forward. It was, I'm sure, a BIG challenge to quit your J-O-B and take that LEAP OF FAITH! HOORAY for Stony Pond Farm, Organic Valley. Organic milk and dairy is much healthier, and organic is truly the healthy way to go. God Bless!

Colleen Lynch says …

I greatly appreciate all the hard work that the Webb's put into their cows and their farm. I drink organic valley milk almost everyday and now I get to know where the milk I put in my body comes from. This is an inspiring story!

Kasumi says …

I love Organic Valley products! We actually drink a milk only from Organic Valley Milk! It is healthy and delicious! We will continuously drink your products for sure! Thanks!

Jaimee says …

I think it is inspiring and I appreciate all of their hard work.

Shirl Ivancic says …

What a lovely family working very hard to bring us organic products through Organic Valley. I've purchased OV products for years but I feel like I now have a personal connection and I will definitely look at that label differently. With "new eyes" I will see the OV label and see those beautiful cows and that sweet young family working hard to bring OV products to my home.

Chareme says …

What an amazing decision. I feel inspired by your decision. Thank you for allowing us to benefit from you being so wise.

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