July 26, 2007

Horizon Organic(R) Producers Win Pennsylvania Certified Organic Awards

Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) awarded two Most Outstanding Organic Farmer Awards to Horizon Organic producers. Richard Stahl of Windy Valley Farms in Somerset County, Penn., won an Outstanding New Organic Producer Award, and Elam F. Stoltzfus from Interlaken, N.Y., won a Staff's Choice Award.

The awards were given by PCO, the certifying agency for Pennsylvania and adjoining areas, at their annual meeting. PCO works to assure the integrity of organic agricultural products through education, inspection, and certification of growers, processors, and handlers. As a USDA-accredited organic certifying agency, the organization educates and certifies growers, processors and handlers of organic crops, wild crops, livestock and livestock products.

Stahl, who won the Outstanding New Organic Producer Award, converted from conventional to organic dairy farming in 2005 and received a certificate for his dedication to organic farming. Stahl was the first organic dairy producer in his county, and he conducted extensive research about organic farming prior to transitioning his farm. He switched to organic production as a way to make his farm more profitable and allow his son to join in the operation. Another reason he made the switch is because he believes in grazing his cows as often as possible.

"I found out everything you could think of about organic before I applied for certification," Stahl said. "Going organic was a business adventure, and I had to find out as much information as I possibly could. My goal is to produce everything from the ground to the store shelf, raising all of my own feed and following organic standards."

Stoltzfus, who won a Staff's Choice Award, did so by working well with PCO staff. He is also a newly certified dairy producer in Interlaken, N.Y., and manages over 100 acres and a herd of over 70 dairy animals. Stoltzfus also received a certificate for his dedication to organic farming.

"Horizon Organic congratulates both Richard and Elam for their successes in organic farming," said Jule Taylor, Horizon Organic's vice president of milk supply. "We are proud to have committed farmers like them as part of the Horizon Organic family. Their efforts are really making a difference in their communities and the environment."


Horizon Organic, founded in 1991, was the first certified organic dairy to distribute products nationally in the United States. The company remains true to its vision for a more organic planet, purchasing milk from 400 certified organic dairy farms and providing certified organic dairy products to natural foods retailers and supermarkets across the country. Horizon Organic's products are produced without the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones, or harmful pesticides. That's the organic promise from our farmers to consumers. For more information on the growing world of organic, visit www.horizonorganic.com.