Spotlight on: Organic Valley

The CCOF Foundation supports students and teachers of organic agriculture across the United States. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has distributed over $500,000, impacting over 33,000 teachers and students. Our support for the next generation of organic producers is made possible by the generous support of our partners. One of our partners, Organic Valley, has supported the CCOF Foundation since 2014.

Organic Valley and CCOF have similar histories. CCOF began 45 years ago, when six farmers in the Santa Cruz, California area realized action needed to be taken to protect the “Certified Organic” label. In 1973, CCOF was founded with 54 grower members to define organic standards and certify growers as organic. All operations were run out of Barney Bricmont’s Santa Cruz, California home; his dining room was CCOF’s first headquarters.

Fifteen years later, Organic Valley’s George Siemon gathered midwestern farmers committed to organic practices, who noticed it was time to take a stand and become advocates for organic. From Wisconsin’s Viroqua Courthouse, this collection of producers agreed to farm in a way that protects the land, animals, economy, and people’s health.

Organic Valley was founded by family farmers with the intention of “[making] food in a way that’s good for people, animals, and the planet.” Both CCOF and Organic Valley were largely responsible for helping the USDA create the federal organic standards. It’s fitting that the two have now joined forces to support the future of organic.

The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is an invaluable resource for budding organic farmers and the perfect program for Organic Valley to support. With their broad engagement in the organic community and cows that average more steps per day than their human counterparts, Organic Valley is quite literally “walking the walk” of the organic food movement. The CCOF Foundation is grateful for the support of Organic Valley and their farmers.

Want to help us advance organic agriculture for a healthy world? Donate to the CCOF Foundation today! For further inquiries, please email

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