Organic Dairy Farmers: The Nelson Family

HandPicked Nation

HandPicked Nation › HandPicked Nation intends to provide a place for people interested in food to gather, connect and ...


Two generations of the Nelson family are organic dairy farmers at their Flavor Ridge Farm in Altura, Minnesota.

After years of conventional farming, and the financial and health setbacks that came with it, the Nelson family decided to convert their dairy operation over to organic and sustainable methods.

This change in technique, outlook and attitude is commendable and inspiring – no wonder the Food Mythbusters team decided to feature the Nelson family as one of their Food Heroes.

Father and mother Laverne and Arlene Nelson, and their son Ross, share a pretty detailed explanation of their move to organic farming. Becoming organic dairy farmers not only offered a financial stability that made sense to a family business supporting two generations, it also presented a chance to repair the health of their cattle, themselves and their land. To paraphrase Ross, conventional farming focuses on how much you can get out of the cow, while organic farming focuses on how healthy you can make and keep the cow.

They fully admit that the work is not as easy as conventional farming, but it is more rewarding.

As Arlene says:

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity that belongs to us. When we see it as a community to which we belong, we can treat it with love and respect.

We applaud the Nelson family’s commitment to organic dairy farming and we thank Food Mythbusters for giving them the spotlight.

Is there someone in your community that you consider a food hero?

Image Credit: Food Mythbusters