Whether you’ve read about our love of their organic milk or recognize the name from dairy products at your local grocery store, chances are you’re familiar with Organic Valley, one of our main dairy partners. We take great pride in using their products in our restaurants, and we’re lucky enough to visit an Organic Valley farm each year!

In fact, we recently toured the organic Burkholder family farm in Kutztown, PA. It just so happens that they neighbor with organic research pioneer the Rodale Institute, where leaders who share the Burkholder’s passion for organic farming are working to present data on its benefits in Washington. Of course, our team had a lot to say about their visit. Scroll through their photos and hear their thoughts below!

Organic Valley - Milking

Baris, District Manager –

“Learning from the farmers about the health and happiness of the animals was my favorite part. Our managers learned how little glory there is in running a farm; rewards are hard to come by. Now, our managers know the real value of the product.”

Organic Valley - Cows

Kim, General Manager at 97th & Madison –

“I enjoyed it all—seeing beautiful landscapes filled with healthy, happy cows, getting to know the owners and their children and learning how cows are milked. Best of all was feeding the warm milk to a calf.

The farmers were very sweet, passionate people. They work hard. They never go on vacation, but they truly enjoy their land. And, they treat their farms well—using organic soil and medicine and feeding their animals organic food. It is important to have trips like this. You feel proud seeing that the products you work with come from a good place.”

Organic Valley - Raspberry

Pinar, District Manager –

“The farmers were so warm and engaged—talk about loving what you do. My biggest take-away was their explanation of Rodale’s ‘Organic Cycle.’ Organic soil grows better plants; cows that eat these plants produce more milk and live longer. Therefore, if people eat and drink organic, will it not have the same impact on their lives?

The animals are treated with so much respect; I was very impressed with the pastures and all the different grasses available for the cattle to graze on. The requirements to maintain organic certification were fascinating. I always thought that I understood what ‘organic’ meant—until I saw it for myself.”

Organic Valley - Farmer

Billy, General Manager at Bleecker Street –

“I was impressed by the behavior of the cows; they were quieter and friendlier than the cows I have witnessed on conventional farms. I was amazed at the simplicity, and how natural everything felt. This trip and these farmers proved that the effort to increase organic farming is indeed worth it and will leave a lasting impact on the world. We should all be so inclined to follow them in their mission to restore land to an organic level.”

Organic Valley - Tractor 2

Saf, Marketing 

“Here, I found respect for all living creatures. They were treated humanely. They were family. I wouldn’t expect to see this on a conventional farm. These people have started a revolution, and it’s our job to spread the word and support their lifestyle. Recycle, compost, choose organic and help the earth remain healthy for future generations.”

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Have you ever been to an organic farm? Comment below about your experience! And, be sure to visit Organic Valley’s website to learn more about their mission.

Organic Valley - Hat