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Organic Valley Coop Commits to Solar Energy and Pollinators

Sandra Lindberg

Here's a story about a part of the world I love: southwestern Wisconsin, the Driftless Region. Rolling hills, savannah and land untouched by glaciers covers this region. Raising dairy cattle has long been part of the area's economy. If you are looking for a beautiful, laid-back vacation where you can also tour some of the most interesting cooperative farms and businesses in the midwest, consider a visit to this region.

Organic Valley, America’s largest co-operative of organic farmers, is set to become one of the largest food companies in the world to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.

The co-op is collaborating with the Upper Midwest Municipal Energy Group (UMMEG) and OneEnergy Renewables to create the solar community partnership. Together, the partners will initiate over 12 megawatts (MW) of solar installations in Wisconsin.

Leading up to this new community solar partnership, Organic Valley has demonstrated its commitment to the environment year-by-year, from implementing on-farm biodiesel to now adopting pollinator-friendly solar standards. In addition to investing $6 million in its renewable energy systems over the past six years, Organic Valley key sustainability achievements include:

  • Pioneering organic production practices and helping create the National Organic Standards in 1990, which included specific criteria for livestock on pasture and were adopted by the organic industry.
  • Keeping nearly 300 million pounds of persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilisers off the land since 1988.
  • Leading the creation of Cashton Greens Wind Farm in 2012, a 5MW community wind farm, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, producing enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.
“To keep farmers on the land, you need to be good stewards of the land,” added Mr Siemon. “Working in co-operation with nature has always been at the heart of our work, and we look forward to partnering with these rural communities to bring us all a stable source of renewable energy.”
You can find the whole article here: Organic Farm Co-op: World’s Largest Will Use 100% Renewables