|Kim & Ann Seeley|
Bradford County, Pa.
Community concern and commitment to growing safe, healthy food are high on Kim Seeley's list of priorities. Kim and his wife Ann run Milky Way Dairy in Bradford County in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Kim Seeley cares about his community. The Seeleys have their own store on the farm (started 40 years ago by Kim's parents, Lewis and Marie) where they sell milk products directly to their neighbors. They also sell their milk to local supermarkets, a local county jail, and the Pennsylvania College of Technology, which is a renowned culinary school. When the college switched from conventional milk to the Seeleys' all natural milk, student and faculty consumption increased 20%, without advertising, simply because it tastes so good!
The family raises 180 cows using organic practices because they care about the quality of their milk. Their customers agree that milk from cows raised naturally tastes better than conventional milk. Kim sees consumers as the key to unleashing what he sees as a simmering agricultural revolution. "As soon as we empower the consumers, they can put pressure on politicians and food companies to make changes. They hold the power." Empowering farmers is also crucial in Kim's mind. "We have been told for years that we will have more power if we consolidate the dairy industry into fewer cooperatives, yet in the last 10 years we have done that more than ever, and the price of milk is still the lowest it's ever been. This is glaring proof that controlling more power among fewer people doesn't solve farmers' problems. It only makes things worse."
Kim and Ann's son Shon is currently studying agriculture at Penn State University. When he returns to the farm, he will become the fourth generation of Seeley family farmers. Shon wanted to be a sportscaster when he was younger. Kim and Ann never put pressure on Shon to become a farmer, but their philosophy of growing healthy food to make the world a better place has inspired him. With young people leaving the farms in droves, Kim thinks "it's neat to see [Shon] want to farm. It must be a sign that we're doing something right, in addition to being stubborn and hard working, I guess."Date: 8/5/2004