More than 170 farmer-owners are part of the largest organic farming cooperative in North America, known under the brand Organic Valley. Founder and CEO George Siemon (see-man) says unlike the typical business model of a public company, their goal is to serve farmers and consumers instead of the stock price.
Farmers establish equity when joining a cooperative and are supported in various aspects of their business including production, certification and farm planning, all while staying on their own land.
Siemon says by combining the model with organic growing, family farms are seeing their finances stabilize and their businesses become more sustainable.
He says the organic industry is expanding at a healthy clip, with almost 20 percent growth every year. He says it’s a great time to get involved.
Siemon says concerns about food quality, the use of chemicals, healthier living and animal welfare can all be attributed to the growing success of organics.
He says he will speak more on these topics and the future of organic agriculture at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s upcoming conference in Granville, Ohio, on February 16th.