Knapp Family of Preble, New York, Awarded for Exceptional Leadership in Organic Farming
Organic Valley today announced that Paul and Maureen Knapp of Cobblestone Valley Farm in Preble, NY, were recently named the 2012 Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) Farmers of the Year for their outstanding stewardship of the land and their contributions to the New York organic community. The couple and their three sons were recognized at the NOFA-NY Winter Conference on January 22nd in Saratoga Springs, NY.
"Paul and Maureen Knapp had the vision, the commitment, and the guts to take their farm and steer it onto a completely different course-organic," says Maryrose Livingston, vice president of the NOFA-NY board of directors. "They work constantly to spread the word about organic agriculture and are active in helping preserve farmland for future generations."
"We believe in healthy soil and healthy families," said Maureen Knapp. "We take our role as stewards of the land seriously and unite with other young farmers to educate the public about organic. Paul and I are proud to raise three sons who maintain our values and will continue to do so as fifth-generation farmers on this very land."
Paul and Maureen Knapp's Cobblestone Valley Farm is situated on 300 acres of land that have been farmed by the Knapps for four generations. Paul, Maureen and their three sons live in the 1896 farmhouse Paul's grandfather built, farm 80 acres of USDA Certified Organic pasture and milk 80 organic Holsteins. Today, the farm includes dairy production, u-pick strawberries, pastured poultry, pork, beef and free-range eggs. The first in their community to transition to organic, they became members of Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative in 2000. Since then, the Knapps have become instrumental resources for organic and fellow farmers in their area. Most recently, Maureen established a local compost collaborative, and sons Casey and Blaise joined Organic Valley's Generation Organic 2011 "Who's Your Farmer?" Tour down the West Coast.
Organic Valley currently has 117 farmer-owners in New York, including nine new farmers that joined the cooperative in 2011. The Knapps are among the farmers that produce New York FreshÔ, Organic Valley's delicious, regional milk produced and distributed right in the Empire State for organic milk lovers in the metropolitan region. Organic Valley's regional model ensures fewer miles from farm to table while supporting local economies.
Organic Valley: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,687 farmers in 35 states and three Canadian provinces, and achieved $715 million in 2011 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of 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. With its regional model, milk is produced, bottled and distributed right in the region where it is farmed to ensure fewer miles from farm to table and to support our local economies. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop, and the cooperative's farmer website, www.farmers.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter @OrganicValley and Facebook.