Source: Organic Valley
More than 600 Organic Valley farmer-owners converged in La Crosse, Wisconsin, for the cooperative’s annual meeting activities in March for three days. Event highlights included a keynote speech by Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture in the USA, and an awards banquet during which Organic Valley rewarded its farmers for quality and commitment to organic and recognized the next generation of young organic farmer-leaders with “Generation Organic” awards, Organic Valley reports. (Pictures by Organic Valley: Ms Merrigan with Mr Siemon - Organic Valley farmer; conference)
Key annual meeting themes focused on goals for 2012 and celebrating a successful 2011, during which Organic Valley saw a record US$ 715 million (133 million euros) in sales and 15.3 % growth, the addition of 212 new farmers, an increase in farmer pay price and the donation of more than US$ 2.2 million to nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing organic food and farming. Additional highlights discussed at the annual meeting included the recent completion of Organic Valley’s new headquarters expansion; the construction progress on Wisconsin’s first community wind project; the launch of Organic Valley American Cheese Singles - unprocessed, 100 % organic cheese slices; and Organic Valley Grassmilk, an organic specialty milk produced from cows that are 100 % grass-fed.
Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,687 farmers in 35 states and three Canadian provinces. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives in the USA. With its regional model, milk is produced, bottled and distributed right in the region where it is farmed to ensure fewer miles from farm to table and to support local economies. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of organic meat under the Organic Prairie label. More information is available here.