We at FamilyFarmed conduct most of our work to build a better food system from our base in the city of Chicago. So we relish the opportunities to get into the country and visit the farmers who are the heart and soul of the Good Food movement — such as our trip Monday (July 24) to two of our woman-farmer friends in Pecatonica, a farm town 100 miles to the west with a whole lot of progressive thinking about Good Food growing.
Kefir is a probiotic fermented dairy drinkthat originated in Russia in the 19th century and only recently has developed a growing consumer market in the United States. The main catalyst for the rising interest in this product is Lifeway Kefir, started in 1986 by Soviet refugee Michael Smolyansky and today run by his children. Julie Smolyansky, the company’s CEO, writes here about the family’s gratitude to the United States; she will participate on a panel about Big Food’s Embrace of Good Food at FamilyFarmed’s Financing & Innovation Conference on March 16.
George Siemon co-founded and heads Organic Valley, the Wisconsin-based producer of dairy products, meats and vegetables that is the nation’s biggest organic farmer cooperative. The work of the company to advance the Good Food movement was honored with FamilyFarmed’s Good Business Business of the Year Award.
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC, located in Champaign, Illinois, makes artisan, farmstead goat cheeses and goat milk gelato from its herd of 80 milking goats. Owners Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell also host Slow Food, farm-to-table meals and other agri-tourism events. And now they are movie stars, And now they are even movie stars, thanks to A Farmer’s Road, a new documentary about Prairie Fruits, which will be shown March 26 at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival.
Branden Byers — who gave how-to presentations on the Good Food Commons at FamilyFarmed.org’s Good Food Festival last March — here explains how easy it is to make viili, an “heirloom” yogurt.