Organic Valley Cooperative Welcomes 100+ Organic Family Farms in 2024

organic valley fencing ia

Family farmer-owners in Iowa set up a new fence for their cows. (Credit: Organic Family Farms)

by | Jun 10, 2024

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Strengthening the Organic Movement

In recognition of National Dairy Month, Organic Valley has announced an ambitious plan to onboard more than 100 small organic family farms into its cooperative by the end of 2024. The cooperative, already the largest organic farmer-owned entity in the United States, has steadily increased its membership, reflecting its ongoing commitment to supporting and preserving small organic farms.

Organic Valley’s growth strategy focuses on integrating new farms from diverse regions, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa. This regional diversity helps enhance the cooperative’s supply chain resilience and product availability nationwide. The cooperative’s executive vice president of membership, Shawna Nelson, emphasized that these additions align with Organic Valley’s mission of nourishing organic food, sustainable family farming, and fostering thriving communities.

By bringing in these new farmer-owners, Organic Valley continues to lead the organic movement, demonstrating its ability to adapt and expand while maintaining high standards. Many of the new farms are joining due to challenges with other businesses or a desire to adopt more pasture-based organic farming methods, ensuring a stable future for the next generation of farmers.

Commitment to Ethical and Sustainable Farming

Organic Valley’s commitment to ethical farming practices and sustainable agriculture is evident in its dedication to protecting more than 400,000 acres of organic farmland across the United States. The cooperative ensures that its farmer-owners adhere to the stringent requirements of the USDA National Organic Program and Organic Valley’s own high standards, which prioritize the dignity and interdependence of human, animal, plant, soil, and global life.

The cooperative’s approach to farming involves meticulous care for soil health and animal welfare, which resonates deeply with its newest members. Farmers like Toby Miller from Iowa appreciate Organic Valley’s ability to provide a stable and solid market for their milk while promoting organic farming methods that avoid harmful chemicals. This focus on sustainability and long-term land stewardship ensures that Organic Valley remains a trusted leader in the organic sector.

Organic Valley’s expansion bolsters its market position and strengthens its role as an advocate for ethical sourcing and sustainable farming. The cooperative’s model supports farmers who are dedicated to managing their farms with care and respect for the environment while ensuring that consumers receive high-quality organic products.

Engaging Consumers and Growing Market Influence

As Organic Valley continues to grow, it invites consumers to join its movement by learning more about its products and farmer-owners. The cooperative’s website and blog provide insights into the lives and practices of its members, highlighting stories like that of the Miller family from Iowa. By sharing these narratives, Organic Valley aims to build a stronger connection between consumers and their food sources.

The cooperative’s growth strategy also includes increasing market presence and expanding product availability in retail stores nationwide. By welcoming over 100 new farms, Organic Valley is set to enhance the diversity and volume of organic products on store shelves, meeting the growing consumer demand for sustainably sourced, organic foods.

In 2024, Organic Valley’s expansion underscores its unwavering dedication to supporting small organic family farms and advocating for sustainable agriculture. The cooperative’s success story serves as a testament to the power of collective effort in revolutionizing the food system, ensuring a stable future for farmers and high-quality organic products for consumers.

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