Originally published in Rural Cooperatives March/April 2013
Organic Valley, the nation’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in March. The La Farge, Wis.-based co-op began in 1988 with a group of Wisconsin farmers who shared a love of the land and a belief that a new, sustainable approach to agriculture was needed to help family farms and rural communities survive. Frustrated by the loss of nearly 2,000 family farms each week, these farmers set out to create a solution: organic agriculture.
“The success of Organic Valley proves that organic agriculture can be a lifeline for America’s struggling family farms,” says George Siemon, the co-op’s CEO. “In an era of rising and falling agricultural prices, Organic Valley farmer-owners can count on a stable, living wage to stay in business on their land. We are humbled and extremely thankful that the original spirit of our founding farmers, and the co-op model, has sustained our organization for 25 years.”
Organic Valley turns 25 | Rural Cooperatives