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

kristen says …

i think that the hard work put into raising good ingredients that you put into the foods is very important,because if you don't you could be harming someone and their health.

Sara Shawger says …

what a great story! so inspiring to see someone follow a risky passion and succeed! i've been educating myself on organic foods and am excited to learn more about farms like these! congrats and good luck!

Robert says …

Great story, and great work being done by the Webbs.

Adrienne MInor says …

Very cool. Maybe I should start an organic dairy...

Gigi says …

This is an inspiring story! It's great when people take chances like this and then become successful. The attention paid to sustainable energy sources and to taking good care of the animals is wonderful. I love seeing the baby being taken around the farm, what a great way to grow up. Most of all, I am grateful to Organic Valley for providing us with such great products and for using small farmers like the Webbs.

Melissa says …

I love seeing different farmers stories, thanks for sharing!

Elyse says …

Happy to contribute in my small way to sustainable farming by buying OV lactose free milk (cheaper than Lactaid) and going to my local farmers market for whatever is in season. Love that young people are going into sustainable farming. They are the way of the future.

Caroline Ornee says …

I am so grateful to the Webbs for starting Organic Valley, their story is rooted in sweat, tears, and diligence. I'm so glad to have stumbled upon this blog post and to now know the story behind Organic Valley.

Morgan Sarah says …

We love Whole Foods in San Diego! My enjoys their all-natural, organic dog chow!

Amber Boyd says …

That is an awesome story! I applaud the courage it took to make the leap to start a company in a direction so unknown! Kudos.

Cynthia says …

This makes the Organic Valley milk I drink every day taste so much better! I'm so thankful for all the organic dairy farmers. Great story.

Morgan Sarah says …

My *dog lol!!!

Oscar Lastr says …

They are doing a magnificant job. It goes to be proven that you can accomplish anything with focus and determination. So happy to hear people like this still exist!

Stephanie says …

It is so great that we not only get to eat delicious organic food, but also learn more about the people that make it happen. Just another reason I love Whole Foods, Organic Valley, and the changes they are making to the American idea of good food.

Jean says …

I think the Webbs are incredible, their dedication and commitment to sustainability and the cooperative. Their products are great, especially the eggs and milk -unbeatable quality.

Tony Fedor says …

I am glad for the Webb's. My wife has been reading a lot of books and articles on organic farming. During the last 3 years we have made drastic changes in what we eat. We still need to do better, but organic food has become and will remain a staple. There is nothing like eating an organic piece of fruit or vegetable. Keep up the good work.

Colin says …

This is a great story to be told. We need more young people getting into farming. It seems like most farmers these days are older people and young people are not jumping to be their successors. We have to realize that our food isn't grown by robots.

Michele says …

Wow, what an inspiring story! Love Organic Valley, so I am very happy they took great risks and made such huge sacrifices.

Pamela Vollmer says …

Wow! Really enjoyed their inspiring story. It's important to learn about the hard work put into the products we purchase. I know I will be buying Organic Valley products for my family now.

Laura Beth says …

This is a great story, very inspiring! Love Organic Valley milk and butter!! Thanks for al of the hard work.

Katherine says …

This is the brand I seek out, which I actually discovered when I moved to Oregon 5 years ago. It's funny that this blog was posted because just the other night I was watching a show and the character took a carton from their fridge with a logo that was (or more likely looked like) Organic Valley and I got all excited, silly, I know :) Thanks for making such great products!

Charlotte says …

They do such great work, I'm glad their products are available at whole foods!

Catherine says …

I love milk and I love their story!

jessica says …

I love how hard they worked to get their own farm running! Small farms like this is what provides us healthy food free of chemicals with better energy put into every type of item they produce. I support local farmers for better food, better taste and nutrition,and lower prices.

jason linscombe says …

well done webbs! i have a hard time remembering to keep the dog and chickens fed every day. lots of hard work... keep it up!

Joe Bartolotta says …

Nice blog post!

VA WA says …

I come from a dairy farming family and the pictures are lovely and makes the life style seems easy and fun. Well it's work, VERY hard work. Hardest part is that you cannot take a day or even a half day off. Those cows have to be milked twice a day everyday or they have pain from the swelling and they are not quiet about it. So when it's raining, snowing, 100+ degrees, if you have the flu or a broken apendage you still have to go and get the job done. Dairy farming on a small scale with out the huge feed lot automation is a very noble and worthy of praise and support.

david says …

Great story, happy people eat healthy food!

KRissy says …

I have worked on a farm before so I understand first hand the hard work that goes into creating food for people. From see all the way to produce. I am so inspired to see these young Vermont diary farmers who are so passionate about their work! Keep up the great work!

Mrs. Heath says …

Thank God for provision ... Especially in your 20s :)

Marisa says …

Inspirational story and grateful for your products!

Tien Britton says …

Tyler and Melanie are incredible examples of people who put their heart and soul into their work, and the results prove positive! Not knowing what to expect, they jumped with both feet in and succeeded. They deserve a ton of praises for their entrepreneurial spirit and determination.

Megan says …

I love organics, especially small, family run operations. I love how they brought this place back to life. And it is so cool that someone in my generation could do this! Love their farm and love Organic Valley!

annie rousseau says …

i had either heard their story on npr or read an article in the new york times. it was mainly about people who left jobs that were secured but not fulfilling. i always like to hear about or read stories about people that take chances to do what appears to be impossible businesses or ventures. keep talking about people like that, and your couple is one great example of what should or could be done with one's life! hurrah!!

MaryCay says …

Your pastured butter is heavenly!

Gaytha says …

Very inspiring! Hard work and dedication can spur amazing achievements!

Anil says …

Its so strange that the other day I was curious about leaving the corporate world behind and do some farming operation. Its so inspirational to read a story such as this. Thank you Whole Foods and Organic Valley! And most of all thank you Tyler and Melanie!

Sarah says …

This is so wonderful! I love seeing people who love what they do and do good at the same time.

Melissa Coy says …

It is so impressive how much they care about their cows and his they didn't even have a farming background too. He even left his job to do this and he didn't worry or quit. It is awesome!

david says …

This is how things used to be, this is how the need to be again.

austin says …

LOVE IT!

Jessica Moran says …

Great story! Thanks for your hard work and dedication.

Lucy says …

Wow. It's asbolutely amazing that they are able to start their own family while starting a Jersey dairy farm. I bet they never get to take vacations. I am really thankful for all the hard work our farmers do to feed the millions of people and families. Incredible.

Jacob says …

The best part of waking up is Organic Valley Half-and-half in my coffee cup : )

Bill Morris says …

That was a great and informative story.

IRMA VARGAS says …

This is a testament to that which drives us towards doing what is in our hearts. Whether it is being the best farmer or best anything...follow your heart with integrity and for the good of others as these two have and success will be around the corner.

Shari says …

Inspiring story - hope more stories like theirs happen. This benefits everyone. Also, I love Organic Valley dairy products and Whole Foods.

nathaniel clayton says …

It's great to hear that people still care about what they put in their bodies. I hope the rest of the farmers follow suit and improve our diet.

Allyssa Ayala says …

I find this story so very intriguing and inspiring to anyone who has a dream or a goal in life. I am still in college, attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I love that Tyler realized his passion for farming while he was still in school. I share the same determination as he does, but it involves business, more specifically, Marketing. He gives people who have read this story, some sort of hope and admiration that your dreams can come true! Way to go guys! You have great products too that I now love buying from you even more after reading your story!

holly cooper says …

I appreciate their hard work very much. Organic farms are much better for the earth and produce a healthier product.

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