Growing up on a dairy farm in Southern California, Stephanie Alexandre spent time with the cows as soon as she could walk. Soon, she was helping her parents with the chores. As a child, she loved showing her dairy cows in 4-H competitions, leading her to pursue an agriculture business degree at California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo. There, she met her future husband Blake Alexandre, a fourth-generation grass-based Northern California dairy farmer, who is an entrepreneurial man with a passion for leading, both cows and people. They began dairying in 1988 in Southern California. In 1992, the couple bought an existing operation on the Northern California coast, and in the late 1990s, converted the operation, known today as Alexandre Family Farm, to organic production. CCOF has certified the operation since 2003.
Today, Blake, Stephanie and their five children operate four grass-based organic dairies on 4,300 acres of irrigated pasture. They grow most of their own hay on approximately 2,500 acres of organic cropland in Modoc County. Everything the family does is organic–an organic pastured poultry and egg operation, organic pastured pork and organic grass-fed beef, and most recently an organic creamery where the family bottles their own organic milk. They are passionate about regenerative agriculture and environmental stewardship, where life flourishes on their coastal farm, including over 240 Roosevelt Elk that graze their pastures. Alexandre Family Farm maintains a Farmstead Membership in the Organic Trade Association.
Demonstrating extensive personal commitment to the organic community Stephanie served on the CCOF Board of Directors for ten years, and currently serves as an Advisory Committee member of CCOF’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Blake has served on the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) for eight years and currently serving on the National Farm Bureau Organic Committee. In their community, they are active in the local youth programs. Blake is passionate about soils, while Stephanie is a passionate cook and teacher of old-fashioned nutrient dense foods. Blake and Stephanie’s five children–fifth generation grass-based dairy farmers–are continuing the family farming tradition, having their own roles in the family business. It is a testament to Blake and Stephanie, through their love and commitment to farming, that each child has gone away to college, graduated, and returned to the Alexandre Family Farm.
“Being named Organic Farmer of the Year is a great honor for us. It is one we share because we are absolutely a team with our farm and family. Our family wants to make a difference in our food supply,” Stephanie says, adding, “As farmers, providing organic food is a very purposeful life.”
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America, representing over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s mission is to promote and protect ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace.