Who's Your Farmer? Organic Valley Wants Us to Know

Organic Valley has a new feature on their website that lets you find out who your farmers are. By entering your zip code, you can get a list of the family farms in order from closest to farthest from your location (including mileage to a tenth of a mile) that are members of the Organic Valley Coop. The new feature, “Who’s Your Farmer?”, is part of the company’s effort to showcase their farms and make the local-ness of their products more visible. (You may have also noticed your local farmers pictured on your milk cartons, another effort to bring Organic Valley farms into customers’ homes.)

“Who’s Your Farmer?” is a fun way to see where your Organic Valley dairy products come from. But when I first played around with the site, I was unimpressed. There weren't many links to click on to learn more about the farms and local food or to “Like” the farms on Facebook. I didn’t know if the farms around Minneapolis weren't willing to contribute to the site or what, but there wasn't much extra information and there were very few “Like” buttons. “Who’s Your Farmer?” provided me with a nice list of local dairy farms but not much else.

Since my first attempts, however, Organic Valley has updated and added more of those links. I imagine it’s no simple task to gather information on all of their farms, but I was happy to see that Organic Valley was working their way around the country and providing more of what was promised.

Now, sprinkled throughout the generated list of “your farmers” are icons to click on that produce a drop down menu of topics to learn more about. These topics range from environmental practices that Organic Valley farms participate in to the health benefits of the foods they produce. Brief descriptions are provided for each these topics, including why they’re important to the co-op.

One thing I'm hoping Organic Valley does (and perhaps this is in the works?) is link the list of farms to their own websites or Facebook pages. I had to go to Google to learn more about the individual farms and it would have been nice to be linked straight to their websites from the “Who’s Your Farmer?” page. Of the top six closest farms to my Minneapolis zip code, only one has its own website (but they can all be “liked” on Facebook). Zweber Farms of Elko, Minnesota, a mere 25.2 miles from Minneapolis, boasts being a member of the Organic Valley Coop on their website. In addition to shipping their milk to Organic Valley, Zweber Farms sells direct their chicken, beef and pork, which is useful information for locavores that Organic Valley could be helping to spread.

Given that other zip codes, such as Washington, D.C. (20500) provide more information on particular farms, I’m hoping that Organic Valley is continuing to work on the site and will eventually do the same for more farms. Because now that you know who your Organic Valley farmer is, wouldn’t it be nice to know more about them?



Dorothy Wickens is an aspiring writer/editor who enjoys cooking, baking, and eating delicious things.