MPW.64 / Troy Successful Sustainability: The Lavy’s Organic Dairy Farm by Hillary Atiyeh
Photographer
Hillary Atiyeh Lyons, Oregon
Team Mac

Story Summary

The Lavy Family does things a little differently than their neighbors on their dairy farm in Silex, Missouri. They are a small, family owned and operated "organic" farm producing raw milk and cheese which they sell to an eager local niche market. They have a dedicated following of customers, some of whom drive an hour from St. Louis twice a week to meet the Lavy's in Troy, MO where they purchase their hormone and chemical free raw milk that they have pre-ordered from the Family. Tim Lavy, who is the third generation of dairy farmers heads up the operation and works alongside his retired father Hubert and a couple of hired hands who assist in the process. Tim and his wife Becky have 3 children, Claire, Hunter and Max, they live on the farm right next door to Tim's parents. Through these hard economic times and extreme drought the Lavy farm endures by keeping it small and local. They have had to reduce the size of their herd this year by two thirds because of the drought but still they find a way to make it work by sustaining the family financially and keeping their land and cows healthy without the use of chemicals or hormones. They are a happy family raising happy cows and are an prime example of a small and successful sustainable family farm.