We believe it is our duty to give back to the communities in which we operate. One way we do this is through our support of local vendors and independent farmers. The more than 120 independent farmers in our network are an extension of AOD. They grow certified organic grain, alfalfa hay and corn silage for our animals, produce organic milk to meet our customers’ demands, provide animal husbandry expertise and custom farming services. We support farmers in transition to build up our supply of local organic feedstuffs.
Our community support programs focus on hunger relief, local schools, and education in agriculture and dairy sciences to support the future leaders of our industry. We actively donate organic milk and butter to community organizations and, in 2015 donated 58,340 gallons of organic milk and 25,240 pounds of organic butter, which equals an approximate retail value of $402,670.
We also donated more than $90,400 in scholarships and cash to nonprofit organizations throughout the year. Our scholarship programs include: Future Farmers of America high school scholarship, Colorado State University organic agriculture scholarships, and family members of our employees who pursue education beyond high school. We also provide cattle, milk and monetary donations to local 4-H programs.
We host tours of our facilities, and our employees often lend their expertise by speaking at local community organizations and youth agricultural programs to educate our communities about organic dairy production. Additionally, our employees receive free organic milk each pay day, and we provide free organic milk to more than 40 neighboring homes that surround our organic dairy farms.