Submitted by: Organic Valley
Posted: Jan 25, 2008 – 05:00 AM EST
SYRACUSE, NY AREA - January 25, 2008 - New York Agricultural Land Trust (NYALT), a new non-profit organization dedicated to protecting land for the future of farming in New York, received contributions from both Byrne Dairy and Organic Valley to support the development of NYALT's communication and outreach plan.
NYALT, established this year as a 501(c)(3) organization, is already working toward protecting 11 farms in Central New York, including five farms from its 2006 round of funding, and six farms that were announced at the end of 2007. This effort will result in the preservation of over 5500 acres! Funding from Byrne Dairy, a Syracuse-based dairy processor, and Organic Valley, the nation’s largest organic farmers cooperative, will enable NYALT to create a website and printed materials for educating landowners and municipal officials about protecting farmland, as well as help the land trust to communicate with farm families interested in conserving their land for future generations.
Maureen Knapp, president of the NYALT board of directors and an Organic Valley farmer, says, "As word gets out that NYALT is helping to protect farmland, increasing numbers of farmers are contacting NYALT to gain a better understanding of what land conservation entails and how a partnership with NYALT might work. This generous support from Byrne Dairy and Organic Valley will help us get farmers the answers they need."
This partnership is a natural fit for both Byrne Dairy and Organic Valley, as the two companies recently teamed up to package the Organic Valley brand of milk products in the Byrne Dairy plant, located in Syracuse. Both companies depend on the steady stream of milk currently produced on the family farms in Central New York. Productive farmland is a vital link in our local food chain, and NYALT expects to conserve more than 5,000 acres of our prime farmland over the next year. In addition, the central mission of the Organic Valley Cooperative is to support rural communities by protecting the health of the family farm—working toward both economic and environmental sustainability.
NYALT is New York's only statewide agricultural land trust, and was created by farmers to assist landowners in identifying the best options for conveying agricultural conservation easements to permanently protect their property from development.
Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,183 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $334 million in 2006 sales. In the state of New York, there are currently 77 Organic Valley dairy farmers. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces more than 200 organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.com and the cooperative's farmers' website, www.farmers.coop.
For more than 75 years, Byrne Dairy has provided area families with fresh dairy products. It has grown from delivering to a few local homes to serving schools and colleges, hospitals and nursing homes, restaurants, convenience stores, independent supermarkets, as well as chains and its own 57 Byrne Dairy convenience store locations across New York State including Syracuse, Rochester, Utica, Watertown, Elmira and Ithaca. The Organic Valley Milk that is processed at the Byrne Dairy is collected from area Organic Valley dairy farms, and distributed directly into the local marketplace—just miles from where the cows graze.
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For more from this organization:Organic Valley