Independent Farm Direct (“IFD”), a Missouri non-profit corporation, was started in 1996. In 2001, there were 70 farmers who met at the Times Union board room in Albany, New York. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss concerns over the high amounts of pesticides and chemicals that were being used to produce crops and livestock. It was also to begin learning new and better growing practices to help them survive. These farmers had begun to realize that the general population was becoming very concerned about what was in the food that they were eating.
These farmers decided to unite to develop the long hard road of fixing the problem, meaning they knew that the food chain products had lost substantial value in the safety and nutrition categories of their food products due no fault of their own. This group worked through various universities and the State University of New York (SUNY) along with the governor at that time, George Pataki. Additionally, the late congressman, Gerry Solomon, and other senators throughout the New England states were becoming involved. These activities created actions and interests to derive important solutions to improve food production, health, water and energy worldwide as well as the continued success of the farm industry. The goals that were considered would help all people through education and physical production by understanding and using IFD’s BIO-AG growing system creating what we now call “Virgen® Foods.”