It all started in 1988. We were a handful of Midwest family farmers and we were fed up with the state of American agriculture. Family farms were going extinct.
Our friends and neighbors around the Coulee region were discarded by a bankrupt agricultural system, and we were told to “get big, or get out!” Industrial, chemical farming was the only existing option for survival. Never mind its effects on our health, our animals, and our environment.
But we didn’t want to be industrial, chemical farmers. And we didn’t want to be at the mercy of corporate agriculture. We knew we had to do something. So one farmer, George Siemon, put up posters calling us to band together. And we did. Family farmers filled the county courthouse and we all agreed: There had to be a better way—a more sustainable way—to continue farming like we always had. In a way that protects the land, animals, economy and people’s health. And that’s how our farmer-owned cooperative was born, with George as CEIEIO.
– Humble Origins of the Organic Valley Cooperative
Farmer-Owned Since 1988
At Organic Valley, more than 2,000 small family farmers own the company. Not the other way around. (That’s why they’re on the packaging!) Since 1960, big corporations have taken over more than 600,000 family-owned farms. And when shareholders of those big companies demand higher profits every year, farmers get squeezed to produce more for less pay. But at Organic Valley, every farmer earns a fair living.
As the nation’s leading producer of organic dairy, Organic Valley now has farmers across the entire country. For example, Harvest Market has 94 farms within 75 miles that contribute to the cooperative efforts of Organic Valley! Pretty cool, huh?!
Bringing the Good
Now, after 29 years in business, the farmers of Organic Valley continue to produce some of the highest quality organic dairy in the country.
What Organic Valley products does Harvest Market we sell?
- Organic Half and Half
- Organic Salted and Unsalted Butter
- Organic Pastured and Cultured Butter
- Organic Balance Protein Shakes, Vanilla and Chocolate
- Organic Single Serve Whole Milk
- Organic Cottage Cheese, Full-Fat and Low-Fat
- Organic Raw Cheddar Cheese (Mild and Sharp), Raw Jack Cheese, Mozzarella, Feta, Pepper Jack
- Organic Grassmilk Raw Sharp Cheddar
- Organic Sliced Cheeses, Mild Cheddar, Muenster, Provolone, Baby Swiss
- Organic American Singles Colby Style Cheese
- Organic “Stringles” Cheese Sticks
- Organic Shredded Cheeses, Mild Cheddar, Mozzarella, Mexican Blend
- Organic Grated Parmesan, Shredded Parmesan
- Organic Feta Crumbles
- Organic Sour Cream
- Organic Cream Cheese
Organic Valley’s 5 Craziest Ideas Yet…
- Make the Farmers the Boss
- Use Crazy Simple Ingredients
- Let Cows do Cow Stuff
- Think Small, Really Small
- Hire a Farmer as Your CEO
Organic Prairie is the brand of premium, organic meats produced by the same farmer-owned co-op as Organic Valley. Many of Organic Prairie’s production standards go above and beyond USDA organic rules, ensuring the meat is the safest and healthiest available anywhere. What else makes Organic Prairie meats so special?
- Brought to you by family farms—not factories.
- Produced without the use of toxic pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, or GMOs—that’s what makes the meats organic.
- Organic Prairie farmers practice respectful, humane animal care.
Cattle graze organic pastures, and are finished on the farm, not on crowded, concrete feedlots. All poultry and hogs have free access to the outdoors. Organic animals consume only organic, vegetarian feeds and no animal byproducts. This is your best protection against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or Mad Cow Disease).
Farms, feed, and facilities meet—and often exceed—all organic certification standards as verified by annual third party inspections and regular visits by CROPP Cooperative/Organic Prairie staff. There is much more to food safety than on-farm practices; Organic Prairie goes beyond the gate with their animals to ensure quality and safety.
Humane animal care doesn’t end when the animals leave the farm. To ensure your safety, every batch of Organic Prairie meat is tested for bacteria before it leaves the processing facilities. Organic Prairie maintains meticulous records on every animal they raise and harvest, ensuring traceability from farm to table. Furthermore, Organic Prairie requires annual third-party facility inspections for adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices and Organic Prairie staff follow up on audits.
What Organic Prairie products do we sell?
- Mighty Bars, Bacon & Apple and Cranberry & Sunflower Seed
- Mighty Sticks, Original, Spicy Jalapeno, and Teriyaki
Organic is Always Non-GMO
There’s a lot of confusion about GMOs (also known as GM or GE foods), and we want to set the record straight. GMOs are “genetically modified organisms”—living things whose DNA includes additional genetic material from other, unrelated organisms. Farming with GMOs promotes an increase in the use of toxic pesticides, which studies have shown to have harmful effects on both your family’s health and the environment. Worse, the rise of GMOs has created pesticide-resistant “super weeds” on more than half of American farms. Those “super weeds” require ever-more-toxic pesticides to kill, and even then, some “super weeds” survive the new pesticides and pass on their resistance to the next generation. It’s a vicious cycle.
Dozens of countries around the world—including most of the European Union—ban GMOs in part for this reason. But in the United States, you’ll find GMOs throughout our food supply. Right now, federal law does not require labels that tell consumers when their food contains GMOs. At Organic Valley, they’re working to change the way GMOs are labeled. Beyond pleading their case in Washington, Organic Valley is spreading the word about what GMOs are and how engineered food has taken over our kitchens.
For now, however, the best way to know for sure that you’re not eating GMOs is to look for the certified organic label—because while not all non-GMO foods are organic, all organic foods are non-GMO. Organic Valley’s products are non-GMO, and they always will be. The USDA Organic seal tells you a product meets strict organic standards and has been certified by an independent, accredited 3rd party. Organic Valley’s Non-GMO barn is a reminder that all certified organic products are non-GMO.