OTA announces Organic Leadership Award Winners

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has announced winners of its 2013 Organic Leadership Awards and WhiteWave Foods would like to congratulate these folks who are great leaders in the organic foods industry.

This year’s winners include:

Arran and Ratana Stephens, Nature’s Path Foods, The Growing Organic Industry Award
Kyle Mathison, Stemilt Growers, The Organic Farmer of the Year Award
Karen and Colin Archipley, Archi’s Acres/VSAT, The Rising Star Award.

OTA awards 2013 photo

These leaders will be recognized September 25 at OTA’s Annual Awards Celebration during Natural Products Expo East at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Growing Organic Industry Award
Arran Stephens and his wife and partner Ratana Stephens have fearlessly and passionately devoted their lives to the growth and success of the organic food movement. In 1985, they founded Nature’s Path Foods Inc. based in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. In 1990, the company became one of the very first third-party certified organic processors in North America.

Nature’s Path employs over 500 team members across the United States and Canada, and is helping to grow green jobs in the organic industry. It continues to be a privately run, fiercely independent family business. Both Arran and Ratana believe that the organic industry needs to work together in order to achieve success. As such, Nature’s Path is actively involved in many industry associations and working groups in both the United States and Canada.

Organic Farmer of the Year Award
Kyle Mathison, a fourth generation farmer and co-owner of Stemilt Growers LLC of Wenatchee, WA, comes from a multi-generation tree fruit growing family. He began experimenting with organic production in the late 1980s. He subsequently became a certified organic grower, and currently farms with his two sons, growing apples, pears, and cherries.

Kyle was one of the first organic growers to use an integrated organic program in his orchards. He applied liquid fish oil on his trees, which increased predator insect populations. He was a leader in inserting large numbers of reared insect predators into his practices to reduce sprays. He developed his own compost facility, and now converts area waste from many sources into a certified organic compost product, available to other area organic growers.

Rising Star Award
Karen and Colin Archipley founded the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program in 2007 at their organic hydroponic farm, Archi’s Acres, in Escondido, CA. Archi’s Acres and the VSAT program offer training and employment opportunities in the organic farming sector for military veterans, who otherwise face an unemployment rate twice the national average. The program at Archi’s Acres has trained over 200 active duty and veterans for careers in sustainable and organic agriculture and other sectors in the food supply chain.

Karen is the marketing director for Archi’s Acres. Colin writes the curriculum for the VSAT program, and helps operate the farm. Both travel the country to give talks and promote their program for veterans and organic agriculture. They recently helped plant the First Lady’s organic garden at the White House.

Hats off to all of these trailblazers in the organic industry.

Horizon Announces Winners of the HOPE Scholarships

Horizon Organic® has announced the four recipients of the 2013 Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Scholarships that help encourage young people to enter the field of organic agriculture. The students, each of whom will receive $2,500, are children or grandchildren of Horizon’s more than 600 family farmers.

Horizon is the first national organic dairy brand to offer a scholarship program designed to build the next generation of organic leaders. The scholarship program began in 2007. American consumers are seeking out organic foods at an unprecedented rate, in part because of concerns about pesticide use, the effects of growth hormones, antibiotic resistance, and because they want to avoid genetically engineered foods.

This year’s four scholarship recipients are:

  • Callie Brodt (Ferndale, Calif.), 19, is the granddaughter of Horizon farmer Jim Walker of the Walker Dairy in Ferndale, Calif. Callie attends Chico State University, where she is majoring in Agriculture Business. “Growing up on an organic dairy and working throughout the dairy industry has given me many opportunities,” Brodt said. “I really think the organic dairy industry is promising for our future because of the natural practices it offers and the benefits to our land, animals and consumers.” This is Brodt’s second HOPE Scholarship. “Callie has extraordinary clarity of purpose and commitment for someone so young,” said HOPE Scholarship committee member, Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy TruthCallieBrodt


  • Mieke DeJong (Bonanza, Ore.), 21, is the daughter of Horizon farmers Arie and Jenneke DeJong, who run the Windy Ridge farm in Bonanza, Ore. This is DeJong’s third HOPE Scholarship, and she plans to graduate in spring 2014 from Oregon State University with a degree in Agricultural Business. DeJong says helping out on her family’s organic farm has been rewarding. “As I grew older, I gained a new perspective on what organic truly meant and have grown to love what it represents and how animals and farms should be treated,” DeJong said. “Knowing that organic foods are produced with care and love from families like ours, I am more than willing to support organic foods and encourage others to do so as well.” HOPE Scholarship committee member Glenda Yoder of Farm Aid said, “Mieke demonstrates a great awareness of the benefits and qualities of organic agriculture. She has qualities that could make her a business leader.”



  • Damen Jeg (Chehalis, Wash.), 19, is the son of Horizon farmer Heinz Jeg of Jeg and Sons Dairy in Chehalis, Wash. Damen Jeg, who is a first-time recipient of the HOPE Scholarship, plans to attend Washington State University to pursue a degree in Animal Science. “Living and working on an organic dairy farm has been a unique and advantageous opportunity,” Jeg said. “The organic option provides a niche market for those who want to consume and utilize a more wholesome and pure product in their lives.” Beyond family farming, he said organic agriculture also offers career opportunities in various fields, including agronomy, business, animal science and food science. “Damen is an accomplished and well-rounded young man who will represent organic well,” said HOPE Scholarship committee member Dr. Alan Greene. “The skills he’s learned will help him be a creative and problem-solving organic farmer.”



  • Sierra Knight (Lisbon, N.Y.), 19, is the daughter of Horizon farmer Bradley Knight of Knight’s Meadow View Farm in Lisbon, N.Y. Sierra Knight, now a two-time recipient of the HOPE Scholarship, is attending The State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam, where she is majoring in pre-veterinary with a minor in biology. She would like to become a veterinarian. “Healthcare for an organic farm is especially difficult to find because of the specific list of medications and procedures that a farmer is allowed to use,” Knight said. “The availability of a veterinarian who understands organic is also very important in the farmer’s goal in running and maintaining a productive farm.” HOPE Scholarship committee member Steve Gilman said, “Sierra is an incredible student and her pre-vet track is immensely important for organic agriculture.”


The 2013 HOPE Scholarship recipients were chosen by a committee of organic industry leaders, including: Tracy Favre, National Organic Standards Board member and former chief operating officer, Holistic Management International (HMI); Steve Gilman, policy coordinator, Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Interstate Council; Alan Greene, MD, founder of DrGreene.com; Faye Jones, executive director, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth and founder of AllergyKids; Bob Scowcroft, a long-standing organic advocate who has served in various leadership positions for 35 years; and Glenda Yoder, associate director, Farm Aid. 



WhiteWave recently held two exclusive sneak peak screenings of the Silk and Horizon sponsored film, GMO OMG for our employees and also for leaders in the natural and organic industry. As you already know (since you’re savvy readers of The Grazing Mind) GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

The film GMO OMG explores how loss of seed diversity and corresponding laboratory assisted genetic alteration of food affect young children, the health of our planet, and freedom of choice everywhere. At WhiteWave, we strongly support transparency in labeling and the right for people to know what’s in the food and beverages they eat and drink. WhiteWave is committed to the non-GMO movement and we are a supporter of the national campaign, Just Label It! and have been a longtime supporter of the Non-GMO Project. Silk’s entire line of plant-based beverages has been verified by, or is enrolled in, the Non-GMO Project. All of Horizon’s products carry the USDA Organic Seal, and have been certified organic for more than 20 years, highlighting the fact that all Horizon products are produced without the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones, and GMOs.

These screenings were a great opportunity for our employees and local leaders in the natural foods industry to learn more about this important topic and WhiteWave’s commitment to non-GMO. People didn’t seem to mind the organic popcorn that was served as well!

Please note: The opinions expressed in the film, GMO OMG are not necessarily that of WhiteWave Foods.

From Garden to Plate

Growing Gardens is one of WhiteWave’s valued non-profit partners and they are offering an amazing summer cooking class series that starts on July 25. Read on and sign up to bring the fruits and flavors of your garden to your plate.

Summer Cooking Class Series with Chef Michael Montgomery

Learn how to creatively utilize your garden throughout the growing season as we cook with food harvested from Growing Gardens at its peak!  Learn new cooking techniques and tips from Growing Gardens Chef Michael as he gives on-site cooking demonstrations. Participants will taste Michael’s cooking samples and take home seasonal recipe packets.

Topics covered during class:

  • To pick or not to pick.  Determining when to eat your garden.
  • Proper storage of common Colorado veggies.
  • Getting the most flavor out of your garden.  Creative ideas for the heavy producers.
  • Utilizing fresh herbs and aromatics such as garlic, onions, leeks.
  • Basic knife skills
  • Intuitive cooking (cooking without a recipe)

Summer Cooking Class Schedule:

Thursday, July 25 – Beets

Thursday, August 15 – Summer Squash

Thursday, August 29 – Tomatoes

Class Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Summer Cooking Series Classes will be held at Growing Gardens – iCultiva! Harvest Station, next to the Greenhouse.

Each class is $40, or save $15 when you register for all three!

Click here to sign up

About Chef Michael Montgomery:

A graduate of Kendall Culinary School in Chicago, Michael’s work with food spans from high paced restaurant kitchens to catering companies, corporate kitchens and grocery stores.  Most recently, Michael has rolled up his sleeves and is getting his hands dirty learning how to grow food as an intern at Growing Gardens for the 2013 season.  Michael is eager to share his cooking techniques, experiences and extensive knowledge of food.

Chef Montgomery 

If you have questions, please contact Megan at (303) 443-9952 or Megan@growinggardens.org or visit http://www.growinggardens.org/

The next generation of farmers is going organic

Nathan Bawden (now 16 years old) has been “working” on an organic dairy farm since he was a baby. Read about his family’s journey on their farm here:


WhiteWave Named a Top CPG Company and ID Iced Coffee Named a Top CPG Brand

WhiteWave has received some recent accolades that we’re proud to share. First, a new study issued by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), named WhiteWave Foods as a 2012 top performing CPG company. We’re proud of our number six ranking among midsize companies and have plans to build on this track record of success. The new study is the first to compare both public and private CPG companies using a combination of three metrics—dollar sales growth, volume sales growth and market share gains—based on comprehensive retail- and consumer-market tracking data.

Additionally, IRI named International Delight® Iced Coffee one of the most successful food and beverage CPG brands of 2012 in its New Product Pacesetters report, an industry-recognized benchmark analysis of exceptional CPG sales success for newly launched products. Nearly 1,900 new CPG brands were introduced to retail shelves in the U.S. between 2011 and 2012, and only 11 percent of these launches met the stringent IRI standards of exceptional first-year sales success required to achieve 2012 New Product Pacesetter status. Ranking number 12 among food and beverage brands, International Delight is honored to be included in this list.

International Delight Iced Coffee was launched in March 2012 and was the first of its kind to combine coffee, real milk and cream in a ready-to-serve half-gallon container. It is brewed with 100 percent premium Arabica coffee and is available in four popular coffeehouse flavors – Mocha, Vanilla, Caramel Macchiato and Original.


Do you Vermacompost?

Growing Gardens is one of WhiteWave’s valued non-profit partners and they offer some great classes for adults. Have you ever heard of Vermacomposting? 

Learn how to turn your kitchen scraps into gold for your garden in this interactive demonstration class taught by Master Gardener and Colorado Worm Man, John Anderson. John will convert, before your very eyes, a defunct refrigerator into a year-round vermicomposting system while teaching step-by-step instructions of how to construct your own at home.  Participants will learn the basics of vermicomposting, worm bin maintenance and harvesting techniques.

Location: Growing Gardens, 1630 Hawthorn Ave. in Boulder – Compost Area (just south of Children’s Peace Garden)
Saturday, July 13 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

To register for this class click here

If you have questions, please contact Megan at (303) 443-9952 or Megan@growinggardens.org or visit http://www.growinggardens.org/.

Horizon Celebrates 15 Years in Maryland

Our Horizon Farm in Maryland started shipping organic milk in 1998 and is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Read all about it in this recent article in the Kent County News


Organic 101

We know you have a lot of choices at the grocery store. Let these fruits and veggies help you figure out which foods are best to buy organic.

Silver Stevie

The American Business Awards, or the Stevie Awards, honor achievements of organizations and business people worldwide. Just recently, the 2013 winners were disclosed and I am proud to announce that The WhiteWave Foods Company was recognized with a Silver Stevie Award in the category of “Management Team of the Year.”   

Nicknamed the Steviesfor the Greek word for “crowned,” more than 3,200 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including: Most Innovative Company of the Year, Management Team of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others. Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 320 executives nationwide who participated in the judging process this year.