LAFARGE, Wis., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Organic Valley will celebrate the
nation's organic family farmer and rural America during a ribbon-cutting
ceremony on Sat., July 31 to mark the completion of its new $5.9 million green
design headquarters. Organic Valley, located in the Village of LaFarge, Wis.
(pop. 780), is proudly America's leading organic-farmer cooperative.
The ceremony will begin at noon at the site of Organic Valley's new
headquarters, One Organic Way. Building tours, which will highlight the
facility's environmental-friendly features, will be offered every 30 minutes
from 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Ribbon-cutting activities are being held in
conjunction with the first-ever Kickapoo Country Fair, an all-day event hosted
by Organic Valley and the Kickapoo Valley Reserve to celebrate sustainability
and community. For more information on the fair, visit
"Organic Valley's new home, with its barn motif, symbolizes our deep-
rooted commitment to supporting organic family farming and the vitality of
rural America," said George Siemon, Organic Valley's chief executive officer
and founding farmer. "We've made a conscious decision to stay in rural
Wisconsin for the long haul, and it sends a clear message about Organic
Valley. We're passionately committed to helping revive rural communities and
saving family farms through organic, sustainable agriculture."
The 49,210 square-foot building features state-of-the-art energy
efficiencies including an energy recovery system that swaps cool and warm air
within the building; day lighting that uses natural light to reduce the need
for electric lighting; and solar-powered parking lot lights.
Various recycled materials, sourced from local businesses, are
incorporated into the structure. The building's frame incorporates recycled
steel, and fly ash, a byproduct of aluminum casting, is used for the drywall.
Insulation is made with recycled cloth, similar to the material used for blue
Organic Valley's new headquarters is expected to bring increased economic
strength to rural Wisconsin, which has been hard-hit in recent years by the
loss of family farms. The cooperative now is actively recruiting new
employees to LaFarge and expects to have 180 employees in the new building by
September 2004, when staff is scheduled to move into the facility. The
building will accommodate up to 250 workers. In their new home, Organic
Valley employees will have a locker room with showers; a mile-long nature path
circling the 36-acre property; and an alternative transportation system --
green bikes. The new cafeteria will serve all organic foods.
Overlooking the rolling hills of Kickapoo Valley, the new building is
nestled against the Kickapoo Valley Reserve -- 8,600 acres that are home to
diverse wildlife and a popular spot for outdoor recreation.
"We've collaborated closely with our farmer-members, employees, the
Village of LaFarge and the state of Wisconsin in building our new
headquarters," said Cecil Wright, director of local operations for Organic
Valley. "Our goal was to create a place that truly reflects the spirit and
mission of Organic Valley. I'm proud to say we've successfully done that."
LaFarge created a Tax Increment Financing district through which it
provided $1.5 million for the new headquarters' infrastructure, including a
$750,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. The USDA
facilitated Organic Valley's $2.8 million "Business & Industry Loan." Organic
Valley also received a pass-through loan from Vernon Telephone cooperative,
which Vernon Telephone received from USDA Rural Development.
"The Village of LaFarge is eternally grateful to the farmers of Organic
Valley for their long-term investment in our community," said Steve Donovan,
president of the Village of LaFarge. "The cooperative is a powerful role
model for other businesses, demonstrating how an investment in rural America
is an investment in our whole nation's health, economy, communities, schools,
families and the environment."
Organic Valley: Farming for Future Generations
Organized 15 years ago, the Organic Valley cooperative today is made up of
633 organic farmers in 16 states. It's the only national organic brand that
is 100-percent farmer-owned and proudly the only independent national organic
dairy in the United States. For further information, visit
DIRECTIONS: Drive to the Village of LaFarge, Wis. at the junction of State
Highways 131 and 82, and then follow the Organic Valley signs to the site of
the new building located at One Organic Way, LaFarge, Wis.
SOURCE Organic Valley