Organic Valley came to the Oregon State Campus on October 6, 2011 to promote organic products. Organic Valley Farms mission statement is that the Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools (CROPP) is created to operate a marketing cooperative that promotes regional farm diversity and economic stability by the means of organic agricultural methods and the sale of certified organic products.
Organic Valley Goals:
Cooperatively market certified organic products produced by our members.
Market the best tasting, most nutritious and wholesome food as possible.
Establish farmer determined food prices to reflect fair return and to use these prices to guide the cooperative marketing.
Encourage a farming future emphasizing ecological and economic sustainability.
Enable a healthy human livelihood by providing quality employment, cooperation, organic education and community growth.
Practice environmental awareness and cooperative principles in all aspects of production, handling, marketing and operations.
Promote a respect for the diversity, dignity, and interdependence of human, animal, plant, soil, and global life.
The Organic Valley Service project is related to soil in many ways. Being organic, the farmers do not use synthetic fertilizers on their fields. These fertilizers do not build up Organic matter which we learned in class is one of the main keys to healthy soil. Organic Valley farmers support soil fertility in ways that are inherently better for soil, air, and water quality. Going above and beyond the USDA’s organic standards, their methods include using natural compost, planting cover crops (helper crops which pull atmospheric nitrogen into the soil), rotating crops (which gives the land a break to rebuild soil quality naturally), and pasturing animals. They use buffer strips, composting of manure, and reduction of inputs to lessen the likelihood of contamination issues due to run-off, and soil erosion is significantly reduced. In addition, since organic farms have higher levels of organic matter in the soil, water is more likely to be absorbed and retained. Organic Valley farmers take care of the soil, because healthy plants are built “from the ground up!” This organic regenerative approach builds new soil organic matter, creating a healthy and resilient soil.
Organic Valley is headquartered out of La Farge, Wisconsin. In La Farge, Wisconsin the main soil is Fayette silt loam. Fayette silt loam (Fine-Silty, Mixed, Superactive, Mesic Typic Hapludalfs) is an Alfisol. This type of soil is primary farmland for statewide, local, and unique. Some of the principal crops are corn, soybeans, small grains, and legume hays. The soil is formed in loess. The water capacity is 0.21 per centimeter in the top 100 cm. The T-factor of erosion is 4 tons per acres per year.
As a group, we learned that organic farming is biologically alive as soil provides more structure, preventing erosion. Healthy soil means more permeability and aeration for healthier microorganism growth. More nutrients are available in organically managed soils that are vital for healthy plant growth, productivity, and drought and disease tolerance. Building organic matter in soils sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reducing greenhouse gases.
Finally, Organic Valley farmers are spreading the message “own your food, drive your future”.
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