The Green Family Farm
Mike and Pam Green own and operate Rebel Ridge Farm with help from their teenaged sons, Preston and Bennie. They have 300 beef cattle and graze them on 650 acres of lush, green rolling pasture.
The science behind raising organic livestock is that when animals live normal lives and eat a typical, healthy diet, they develop strong immune systems and enjoy improved health. Only in crowded systems, does it become necessary to introduce antibiotics to prevent disease. Frightening diseases, including Mad Cow, have been associated with factory farming practices. Unlike organically raised cattle, these animals are often raised in confined lots, where diseases can easily take hold and be rapidly distributed throughout the industrial food chain. Mike’s cattle thrive since they have plenty of room to graze in the pasture.
The Greens joined the co-op in 1996 as dairy farmers for Organic Valley and switched over to beef only production in 2004 for Organic Prairie. Mike’s oldest child, Jennifer, lives nearby on her Organic Valley dairy farm with her own family. Mike says, “Perhaps the most rewarding source of pride that parents can experience is having their children follow in their footsteps in a career choice. This is particularly true in production agriculture because it is not only a career choice but a “way of life” choice. Thanks to my involvement with the co-op, I can in good conscience, recommend to my children, that like me, they can also choose a life and career in organic production with the promise of not only fulfilling a dream but also of fulfilling reasonable economic goals.”