Liz Bawden of Hammond, New York, and Netty Loos of Scappoose, Oregon, may live on opposite coasts of the country, but their personal and professional paths and passions led them to discover a similar, fulfilling life of organic dairy farming.
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There is HOPE for Willow Creek Farm on state Route 244 — in the form of a national award for quality of organic milk.
The farm’s owners, Chuck and Julia Deichmann, and their family won the Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Award last month from Horizon Organic, the company to which Willow Creek has been shipping milk since 2000. The award recognizes those who advocate for organic agriculture. The award was presented during the Sept. 21 Farm Aid concert in Saratoga Springs.
Read the complete article here: http://www.wellsvilledaily.com/features/x928795999/National-Honor-for-Willow-Creek-Farm-in-Belmont
Meet Horizon farmer, Chuck Deichmann, in this article by Farm Aid. His farm in Belmont, NY was the first organic farm in the nation to use a robotic milking system.
Last night, our Silk and Horizon brands sponsored a special screening of the award-winning documentary, GMO OMG at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colo. Film makers, Joshua Kunau and Jeremy Seifert, attended the screening and participated in a post-film Q&A session with audience members. It was a packed house with nearly 400 people at the screening.
The film explores how Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) may impact our health, our planet and our freedom to choose what’s in the food we eat. GMO OMG traces Jeremy’s journey, as a concerned father, from Haiti to Norway to Paris in search of the truth about GMOs.
WhiteWave strongly supports transparency in labeling and the right for people to know what’s in their food and we’re proud to help bring more awareness to the important issue of how our food is produced.
WhiteWave Foods is also committed to the non-GMO movement as a supporter of the national campaign, Just Label It!, which has collected more than 1.3 million signatures from concerned consumers in support of GMO labeling. Silk is a proud participant in the Non-GMO Project product verification program, which provides independent verification that products are made in a system designed to avoid GMOs. Silk’s plant-based beverages proudly carry the “Non-GMO Project Verified” Seal. All of Horizon’s products carry the USDA Organic Seal, and comply with the National Organic Program’s stringent requirements, including those regarding GMO ingredients.
More information about the film, GMO OMG is available at http://www.gmofilm.com/. Please visit http://silk.com/our-story/non-gmo for more information on Silk’s efforts to support non-GMO efforts.
Film makers Joshua Kunau and Jeremy Seifert, and Kelly Shea from WhiteWave Foods during the Q&A session.
Horizon Organic® has announced the 2013 recipients of its two annual farmer awards. The Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Award is given out to those who advocate for organic agriculture, while the National Quality Award recognizes the Horizon farmer who produces the highest quality organic milk in the entire Horizon milk supply. This year both the HOPE Award and National Quality award winners are based in New York state where Horizon partners with more than 300 active and transitioning organic dairy farmers.
Chuck and Julia Deichmann of Belmont, N.Y. received the 2013 HOPE Award, and Jeffrey and Sharon Sheen of Gouverneur, N.Y. won the National Quality Award for the second time. The recipients were honored during the annual Farm Aid concert in Syracuse, N.Y. that took place on Sept. 21.
HOPE Award: Chuck and Julia Deichmann
The Deichmann family, who has shipped milk to Horizon since 2000, received this year’s HOPE Award for their community involvement, ongoing support for farmers interested in transitioning to organic and their innovation in being the first organic dairy farm in the country to install robotic milkers. The family also helped establish the organic dairy farming community in western New York.
Throughout the year, the Deichmanns host field days, pasture walks and school tours of their 365-acre Willow Creek Farm to help educate families and other farmers about organic agriculture and sustainable practices. Chuck Deichmann has served as a valuable resource to countless farmers, both those interested in transitioning to organic and those interested in adding robotic milkers to their operation. The Deichmanns have nationally represented organic farming, including hosting Senator Hillary Clinton at their farm in 2005.
National Quality Award – Jeffrey and Sharon Sheen
Jeffrey and Sharon Sheen are now two-time recipients of Horizon’s National Quality Award, winning this year and in 2011. The Sheens, who have been shipping to Horizon since 2004, milk 45 Holsteins on their 343-acre farm.
Sharon Sheen grew up on a dairy farm, but neither she nor Jeffrey had milked a cow before they decided to start their farm 18 years ago in Gouverneur, N.Y. with 30 cows. Jeffrey Sheen attributes much of their farm’s success to their transition to organic in 2004.
The organic milk market is competitive, and consumer demand continues to grow: The organic category continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the food industry, averaging double-digit growth year over year, and is now a $31.4 billion segment.
The second-largest organic category is dairy, which represents 14.6 percent of total organic food sales. Since the founding of our brand more than 20 years ago, the main way Horizon Organic has chosen to compete is based on quality.
Quality is a hallmark of the company, as high-quality milk means high-quality products that taste great and have a superior shelf life.
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At the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January, the Ralph Fair family received the Bicentennial Farm award, which means the farm has been in the family for more than 200 years and has family members still living on it…
The Fairs milk about 60 Holstein cows with an additional 60 calves and heifers. Milk is shipped to Horizon Organic in New York.
Read the full article about this family’s many impressive years on the farm here: http://www.lancasterfarming.com/results/Fair-Family-Farm-200-and-Counting–
Some drivers get excited when they see the large Horizon Organic Dairy sign along the Augustine Herman Highway outside Kennedyville, Md., and stop in asking if they can purchase the milk.
Unfortunately, Julia “Sissy” Everett has to break the news that milk is not available for purchase at the farm. Others just want to see the cows.
Fifteen years ago, Horizon Organic purchased the farm as a way to get a foothold on the East Coast for its organic milk brand. Today, the farm provides a way for the company to stay connected to the challenges their farmers face in producing organic milk.
Read more about Horizon’s Maryland farm in this article from Lancaster Farming: http://www.lancasterfarming.com/-HorizonOrganic-
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.
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 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 Truth.
- 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.