Please tell me you followed along with our Insta stories last Monday when we spent the day on an Organic Valley Farm in Cashton, WI. It has to have been one of the best days Team Fit Foodie has ever had “in the office.”
We are so excited to introduce a brand new Fit Foodie Finds partnership with our friends over at Organic Valley. I’m sure you’ve seen and used Organic Valley (OV) products before because they are sold nationwide and have an incredible line of products. I want to be real with you guys for a second and let you in on a little secret. As a social media influencer, I get multiple pitches every day from brands wanting me to promote them on my channels. If I said yes to everyone who came my way I would be 1. a walking ad and 2. dishonest. At Fit Foodie Finds we pride ourselves on the brands we work with because we truly believe in everything they are down to their corporate mission statements. This is why, I am thrilled to get behind Organic Valley on a much deeper level over the next few months because, well, they are bad ass.
Who is Organic Valley?
Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative that produces certified organic and 100% grass-fed dairy products. That’s right, the business is owned and run by the farmers themselves, which is a bit crazy, but clearly, it’s working. Their mission goes beyond producing high-quality organic dairy (non-toxic, no pesticides, no GMO’s, no artificial hormones or antibiotics). Organic Valley..
- Produces their dairy on small-scale, family-owned farms.
- Uses a regional model where milk is produced, bottled and distributed right in the region where it is farmed to ensure fewer mils from farm to table and to support local economies (Um, we can get behind this 100%)
- Makes animal welfare a priority by raising their cows in open pastures and feeding them a grass-fed diet.
- Cares about what we, as humans, put in our bodies because they produce high-quality food at a fair price.
- Produces milk that is rich in Omega 3s and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). CLA helps boost the body’s immune system and Omega 3s are healthy fats that your body needs!
The list goes on and we are so excited to be partnering with such an amazing brand who is truly making a difference not only nationally, but on a smaller scale as well.
Today I want to talk about all things “life on an Organic Valley Farm.” Team Fit Foodie had an amazing opportunity last week to get down and dirty on The Gretebecks Organic Valley Farm in Cashton, WI. The first word that comes to mind about life on an Organic Valley Farm is happy. The land is happy, the animals are happy, and the farmers are happy.
This farm was SOOOO different than all of those crazy conventional dairy farm documentaries that you see on Netflix. This farm is run how farms are supposed to be run. There were open pastures, hundreds of happy animals (not just cows!), no chemicals (ANYWHERE). We loved being able to meet the real people behind this farm because it really shed light on what the life of a farmer really is!
Let me just tell you. Tucker and Becky Gretebeck are two of the most hardworking, fun, and knowledgeable people that I’ve ever met. They knew every nitty-gritty detail (down to the name) of every farm animal they own (and it’s hundreds!). They are both fourth or fifth generation farmers, which means that their families have been running their organic farm for five generations (say what?!). They both spoke so passionately about their lifestyle, their cows, and how much of a positive difference working with Organic Valley has been for their family.
Tucker and Becky have about 125 cows that their family takes care of, but only 50 of those cows are on Tucker and Becky’s personal farm. These cows graze in the pastures all day and are milked twice a day. Becky has a full-time job as well and they don’t have any other farm hands that work on the farm other than their two children (when they’re not in school). So that means, all of the cows, goats, pigs, bunnies, horses, etc., on their small family farm, are taken care of by one family. It truly is a lifestyle. Did I mention that ALL of the animals on the farm have names? HOLY COW (pun intended).
Tucker and Becky did make running a farm look like a dream, but they were also real with us about how much hard work goes into being a farmer. You can’t just pack up and go on vacation or take the day off. It is a 24/7 gig.
Here are a few fun facts we learned from Tucker and Becky:
- They plant three different types of grass on their pastures. The reason for this is to provide a wide variety of nutrients to the cow and if for some reason the weather affects one type of grass, they aren’t left with a pasture full of dead grass.
- There is a grazing pattern in their pasture broken up into different sections. They do this to make sure that each section of pasture has time to regenerate.
- There is a lead cow in every herd. This cow is usually the smartest cow of the bunch and leads the herd through the pasture and when Becky or Tucker call the lead cow in for milking, the herd follows!
- Cows have a four chamber stomach, which helps them digest grass.
- A heifer is a young female cow that has not yet had a cow and therefore, produced any milk.
This post is sponsored by Organic Valley. I was compensated and all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting Fit Foodie Finds and making this website possible.