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Organic Valley Launches Breakthrough ''Heart of Farming'' Web Column by Photo-Journalist Carrie Branovan

Submitted by: Organic Valley

Categories: Business Ethics

Posted: Feb 01, 2006 – 11:00 PM EST


Multimedia Feature Gives Voice to America's Organic Generation

Feb. 01 /CSRwire/ - LaFarge, Wis. - The Heart of Farming, a new monthly multimedia storytelling feature that connects America's new generation of organic farmers to their urban counterparts, has been launched by Organic Valley Family of Farms, the cooperative that helped pioneer organic agriculture in the U.S.

Available on the Organic Valley website at, The Heart of Farming is shot, edited, and produced by award-winning photo journalist Carrie Branovan, exclusively for Organic Valley Family of Farms. Branovan has been traveling across the nation photographing organic farmers for the past five years. While she walked through pastures, waited for the rain to pass, and sat at the farmhouse kitchen table sharing pie and coffee, she was treated to some of the best stories she had ever heard. This year, Organic Valley's web team asked her to share those stories with a larger community. The farmers' voices and beautiful photographic images are now blended together and embellished with locally produced music. The result is an entertaining, thoughtful and inspiring slice of life.

"The Heart of Farming is about the values that are shared by urban and rural folks who think outside the box, and challenge existing paradigms," said Branovan.

Branovan noted that The Heart of Farming is a "creative vehicle that connects the organic community--values to values--with the folks that produce their food." Farmers are able to tell stories in their own voices, expressing their thoughts about a diverse range of topics.

"Organic farmers represent a renaissance population that thinks beyond conventional farming methods, challenges popular thought, and often reinvents what their parents and universities have taught them about chemically intensive farming. These farmers are unusually intuitive, bright, talented, and gregarious; they share a strong sense of justice and social responsibility," said Branovan.

The first Heart of Farming episode features farmers Laurie and Lee Arboreal and 4-year-old daughter Iris, first generation market gardeners in central Michigan. Viewers are treated to a story from Laurie, and invited to reflect on managing life's challenges, against a background of vibrant organic images of food, flowers and family. Branovan pauses to ask, "Is it that philosophers make great organic farmers, or that living a life close to the rhythms of the earth creates philosophers? Maybe both!"

"The Heart of Farming is an authentic voice for a brand that has pioneered the organic movement," said Theresa Marquez, chief marketing executive of Organic Valley, an unprecedented cooperative model owned by 730 organic family farmers across the U.S. "It is an excellent example of Organic Valley's commitment to connecting citizen consumers to the farmers who produce their food, renewing America's pride in its agrarian roots, and celebrating the growth of the organic movement.

Each month's Heart of Farming episode will be featured in Rootstock, Organic Valley's monthly e-magazine. To subscribe, follow the prompts to become a member of Farm Friends at

About Carrie Branovan
Carrie Branovan ( is co-founder of Organic Creative LLC, a consulting and intellectual property development company that creates opportunities for people to explore sustainable lifestyles.

A passionate activist, organico, foodie, and yogi, she sees organic agriculture as an unprecedented grassroots movement that represents a renaissance of community, living in harmony with nature and shifting values.

Branovan has spent the last 25 years traveling the world and photographing its people. After working for publications and clients as diverse as British Vogue, Matsuda, and Oshkosh B'Gosh, Carrie found her bliss while working with organic farmers on assignment for Organic Valley. When she is not roaming the countryside, she can be found in Madison, Wis., with her two children.

Organic Valley: Independent and Farmer Owned
Organic Valley Family of Farms is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 730 farmers in 22 states and realized a record $245 million in 2005 sales. Focused on its founding mission of keeping small and mid-sized farmers farming, Organic Valley produces 200 organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce, juice and meats which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. For more information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit

For more information, please contact:

Phone: 781 648 7157
Phone: 612 372 6454

For more from this organization:

Organic Valley


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