Farmer-Owned Cooperative Organic Valley Bucks Trend in Farming Consolidation; Celebrates First Milk Pickups on 51 Small Organic Family Farms
03 August 2022, Wisconsin: The U.S. has lost more than 100,000 family farms in the last decade, according to USDA data and based on recent trends it is likely that approximately 5,000 family farms will be forced to close in the next year alone. Dedicated to reversing the trend in food and farming consolidation through its mission of saving small, organic family farms, cooperative Organic Valley announced today the addition of 51 new members.
“Organic Valley was formed in 1988 to offer farmers an organic marketplace, and we are still doing that today,” said Travis Forgues, Organic Valley executive vice president of membership “We care about small family farmers, rural communities, and fixing the broken food system. And that is what we bring to the marketplace: organic dairy people can feel good about.”
Organic Valley picked up milk from more small organic farms in Vermont, Maine, New York, and New Hampshire for the first time this week. Without milk trucks picking up fluid dairy, family farms have few options to survive. When family farms close, they rarely open again, creating a compounding crisis that has resulted in over 4 million farms lost within the last century.
“It is such a joy to see the milk truck driving down the road to our milkhouse. We work hard every day to care for this land and our animals, all organic, using no toxic pesticides or antibiotics,” said Selina Rooney of Rooney Farm outside of Morristown, Vermont. “Shipping milk with Organic Valley allows our farm to stay viable, it allows us to be the caretakers of this place and produce good organic food for people.”
The small family farms that had their milk picked up by Organic Valley for the first time were nearing a moment when no milk trucks would head down their gravel roads. Organic Valley also brought on 15 farms earlier this year that would have likely become victims of food and farming consolidation elsewhere in the industry.
Organic Valley, founded by family farmers in 1988 with a mission to create a stable economic model for organic farms, is sharing real-time updates through videos and farm photos in Vermont and Maine on its homepage at organicvalley.com. You will find milk from these small, organic family farms available throughout the Northeast under the brand name Organic Valley.
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