Since its founding in 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $30 million to support our family farmers. This year, Horizon Organic and Whole Foods Market were the two largest contributors to Farm Aid.
In addition, Horizon Organic and Silk joined together to help reduce the environmental impact of the concert itself by purchasing enough wind energy from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to power the entire concert, as well as to offset the energy used for more than 20,000 attendees to drive to the event, and for all of the musicians, their crews, and those of us who came from out of town to travel to Massachusetts. Wind energy is an affordable and renewable energy source that does not pollute, generate waste, or use up our natural resources.
They also sponsored composting and recycling at the event, to help Farm Aid move toward zero waste status.
Each year at Farm Aid, Horizon Organic presents a Quality Award to whichever of their more than 500 family farms produces the very highest quality organic milk. This year the award went to a grass-based dairy in Oregon called Poland Farms. The dairyman, Jaas Poland, grew up in Holland. He came to the US to farm in 1993, and settled in Madras, Oregon. Today, he and his wife Deanna have 220 pasture-fed organic Holstein cows.
I had a chance to talk with them this morning before the award – and to appreciate the joy and vibrancy of their three wonderful kids (whose voices you can hear in the background on some of my earlier videos :^)).
Meet the family in this 2 minute video of the award presentation above.