Here at Springfield Creamery, we’ve produced natural dairy products in Oregon since the 1960’s. In the beginning, it was glass jugs and half-pints of milk bound for doorsteps and school lunch trays. We hope the local families we served back then have grown in health and have happy memories of school days past. Those early days haven’t been forgotten by our matriarch, co-founder & CEO, Sue Kesey. Recently, she shared her reflection on Springfield Creamery’s evolution to produce a full line of Natural as well as Organic Probiotic Foods.
AN ORGANIC MOVEMENT
Sue and her husband, Chuck were pioneers in a natural foods movement that emerged in the 1970’s and flourished into the 80’s. As the movement grew, the term, ’Organic’ was lifted into significance. When asked about the meaning of Organic, Sue responded simply, “Organic is, hands down, the best option for the land, animals and people.” In reference to food products, organic means that the ingredients are grown and processed without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Specific to dairy, it also means that the cows are pasture-raised without antibiotic treatments and fed organic grasses and grains. Because Organic practices keep the land sustainable without runoff into streams, our waters and our fish are healthier and free of harmful contaminants.
Organic became a trend multiplying across the food system. By the time that buyers began seeking and finding Organic dairy products in stores, many Northwest dairy farmers were ahead of the curve having been working in-step with Organic guidelines and yielding some of the highest quality Natural milk in the country. As Nancy’s grew in popularity, Sue and Chuck gained knowledge about Organic standards and partnerships with those who shared this integrity became even more essential.
ORGANIC OPPORTUNITIES RISE FROM THE ASHES
In 1994, a heartbreaking event marked a pivotal point for Springfield Creamery and Nancy’s. All production was halted when a fire broke out, leaving the Creamery in a state of total destruction. Our family, friends, neighbors and partners in the dairy industry all leaned in to help Nancy’s yogurt flow again. Just 10 days after the fire, George Siemon, then COO of Organic Valley Cooperative, paid a visit. Even now, Sue seems incredulous that George recognized potential in the smoldering aftermath, and history proves that a significant connection was made that day. The team at Organic Valley were great partners as our family made a commitment to rebuild Springfield Creamery and offer certified Organic dairy products.
The endeavor was far from simple. Many things needed to be in alignment for Springfield Creamery and our suppliers to meet the standards for USDA Organic Certification. Fortunately, many Northwest dairy farmers shared our family’s commitment to Organic certification and their values and processes were inherent.
After more than 25 years, the Organic milk we use in Nancy’s Probiotic Foods is still produced right here in Oregon by multi-generational family farms that have become our long-time suppliers and family friends. We trust these partners to care for the land and care for the cows, who produce the healthiest Organic milk possible.
ORGANICALLY SPEAKING, LOVE THE CHOICES
The choice to produce Organic foods, naturally supports the health of families and the environment, which our family has always valued. Not only have studies shown that Organic foods can offer enhanced nutrition, including more omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, organic agriculture and farming practices promote healthier soils, water quality and reduced chemical pollution overall. Today the demand for Organic foods continues to increase, and Organic dairy is no exception.
Our family owned creamery has grown a lot over 60 years. At Springfield Creamery, we now make over 60 natural and certified Organic dairy products to serve communities throughout the US. We’re continually inspired by our northwest neighbors, partners and friends. Jointly our organic triple-bottom line is that we value good food, stewardship of the land, and the people (and cows) that produce it. That much will never change.
Stay healthy, be well, keep learning and stay in touch.
❤️ – The Kesey Family & all the folks at Springfield Creamery