Through divine intervention I had the opportunity to attend Young Living’s Beauty School in Midway Utah over the weekend. These events always end up offering more than I could anticipate. One highlight of my trip came on the way home from Beauty School as our route took us by the Young Living Mona Lavender Farm. The visitor’s center was closed on Sunday but that didn’t matter. We were still able to take in the breathtaking views and even have a couple of unexpected conversations.
I have always dreamed of visiting a YL farm and people have often asked me if I have ever been to one. As I write this I still can’t believe I had the chance to see a farm with my own eyes. I can now say that I have stepped foot on and have seen the fields on which the oils I use every single day come from. To me that’s incredible. Knowing that Young Living grows their own plants and trees with the utmost care and attention gives me great confidence in the purity, potency and safety of their essential oils. Having now been there I can confidently tell others that I know where the oils come from. It’s not made in a lab. The plants are not treated with pesticides. The seeds, the soil, the fertilizer from their grass fed animals, the water to irrigate, and the correct time to harvest are all a few components in the meticulous process of growing the best plants to yield the highest quality essential oils.
The morning was cool, the sky a beautiful blue and the birds were singing. It felt like a dream as I was surrounded by majestic snow capped mountains and acres of fields. I imagined what it must look like in summer when the lavender is in full bloom. I took pictures and just kept repeating, “oh my gosh, this is amazing.” I saw a sign for the farm office and thought I’d walk over and take a picture from there. I noticed a truck had pulled in and parked at the office. Shortly after, a man walked over to the security fence where I was standing and said “hello.” I asked him what his job was on the farm and he told me he was the farm manager. I was again a little stunned. I couldn’t believe that I was talking to the actual manager of this amazing farm. I asked him some questions and he was very kind to answer them all. Drinking a NingXia Zing, his son was right beside him leaning into the fence that separated us. I thought that was pretty cool. In fact, he inspired me to order some. Ha! I asked the little boy what his role was on the farm to which he proudly replied, “I help my dad!” He told me about the 100s of horses they have, the cows and even their camel “Gracie.” It was like this farm and all its animals were his too.
For having just reached the extraordinary status of being a billion dollar company last year I found it quite astonishing that it still feels “small” and very family oriented. Even while at Beauty School, Cole Woolley PhD, a chemist who has worked very closely with Gary Young for years came to our lunch table and sat down right next to me when I asked him if I could ask him a question about something. He sat there for a good 10-15 minutes while we shot off all sorts of questions at him. He was polite, kind, knowledgable and generous with his time. As my friend and I were getting ready to leave the farm another gentleman pulled in. With window rolled down the man had a big smile and a warm hello. He seemed excited to talk about his job as the security for the farm. He said he has worked there for 7 years and couldn’t be happier. “I have the best job and I get the products at a discount, how can I complain?”
I drove away feeling both proud and humbled that I can be part of a company that puts people and purpose before profit. It has never been nor will ever be about the money. I love that Gary Young has set the standard and will never allow inferior essential oils to even be bottled. When Mary Young spoke to us at Beauty School she assured us that purity and quality will always be their priority. This is what sets Young Living apart from any other essential oil company in the world. What other essential oil company welcomes you to visit their farms and see the plants and distillation process? What other essential oil company invites its members to help in specific harvests? The answer is, there are NONE…because there are no essential oil companies out there that own their own farms.
I am grateful to have had the experience to witness the Mona Lavender Farm. I’m also grateful for all the people who work hard so that we can benefit from the oils. The next time you open your bottle of essential oil think about the people who make it possible for you to have it. Think about the farmer with sunburned neck and face who tills the land, plants the seeds, drives the tractor, cultivates and harvests the plants. Think about the hundreds of pounds of plant material it takes to produce just a small amount of oil. Every once in awhile I hear, “essential oils are expensive!” My response has always been, “well, you can either invest in your health or you can invest in your illness.” But now I will talk about the farmer, the fields, the plants….and the little boy who said, “I help my dad.”