Organic Valley: A Farmer Cooperative
By Megan Barber, Grocery Buyer, Merchandising Manager, Wellness Buyer, Co-op Owner
When you start your day off with a heaping bowl of cereal, snack on cheese at lunch, and end it with a delicious helping of ice cream, you might want to consider where your dairy products are coming from! Organic Valley is a Co-op owned and run by farmers through every step of the process; from planting, to milking, to cheese making These farmers are spread out across the area too, ensuring that the dairy you’re consuming comes from neighborhood farms. The closest farms to Mt. Pleasant are J&M Yoder farm and the Miller farm in Clare – a quick 13 miles away, and the Irani farm in Blanchard!
Since 1960, more than 600,000 family farms have been bought out by corporations. But organic farming is more of a small scale sustainable farm practice that flourishes under Organic Valley’s Co-op management. When you choose organically produced products, you’re choosing to support the farm and the family that runs it, you’re choosing sustainable practices good for the land, water, and air, and you’re supporting the proliferation of healthier choices for you and your family! Grass-fed dairy is higher in omega 3’s and other nutrients too. For stories straight from the farm, check out these short videos.
But Organic Valley isn’t just about hanging out at the farm – they’re hard at working making a difference in communities all over. They have a support system in place for farmers to start transforming their conventional farms into organic producers – a multi-year process! They provide training and support materials as well as educational avenues and monetary assistance to partner with farms through the transition. If you’re interested in applying for grants with Organic Valley, check out more information here!