Soul of Farming | Grazing | Organic Valley

Soul of Farming | Grazing | Organic Valley


I think the beauty of agriculture is you get
it down to the most simple thing. The cows on the grass. In the pasture the cows have fresh air, fresh
water. Everything they need. When you’re managing your farm in a grazing
system you’re getting the highest quality milk in the world. So, I do look at grazing as being both an
art and a science. The pasture can’t grow as well without the
cow, the cow can’t grow as well without the pasture. It’s just a natural fit. “Come on, buddy,”. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted
to farm. I like to see things grow, I like being out
in nature. When I was 9 years old, I asked my dad if
we could get a herd of cows and we’ve worked together ever since. We started in the modern, intensive management
style of grazing in ‘95. Prior to that we had our farm set up in five
acre fields, but when we learned that we could use this modern fencing, that was the revolution. “Come on, girls!”. As good as pasture is, it can be so much better
when we keep moving the cows to a new area more often. They’re almost running to get into these
new areas. They’re not only harvesting, they’re exercising,
they’re fertilizing out on the field. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the
cows and the pasture. When the cow gets what she needs, she gives back. One thing I truly see in organic is that we’re
building soil. We’re improving our biodiversity and we
see a huge improvement in wildlife, the health of the ecology, the clean water. So, the cows have without any doubt, improved
the whole landscape. My dad and I have worked for decades now on
the farm and I’ve learned a lot from my dad. We’ve been able to have a few more animals
because of the productivity of organic grazing but we’re not looking at getting ten times
bigger. We want to keep more people in farming. “Alright, here we go”. It’s been a huge goal to be a farmer, and
I’m proud to be a farmer. Stewardship is such an important thing that
we take care of the land, that we take care of our families, the community, the animals,
everything around us to improve our environment. Everything can improve when we do a good job
with organic agriculture. So, what I like to see is more people in farming
and I think the value of a small farm is huge. I’m Kevin Mahalko, and I’m happy to be
your Organic Valley Grassmilk farmer.

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