It is hard to believe that it’s already six months since I was elected to the Viroqua Food Co+op Board of Directors! During this time, I watched our amazing staff work out the kinks of our newly expanded store from a different perspective than just a shopper. Being on the Board brings into focus a lot of the smaller-moving pieces and helps me realize just how much is happening behind the scenes. I have to take the opportunity to thank every employee at the Co-op for the grace and apparent ease with which they navigated this transition. It has been a real joy to be a part of it with you.
The local food system is important to me. What really brought my family here was not only the connection to the land where my husband’s ancestors had been for many years, but also the prevalence of like-minded folks working together to support rural economies and organic farming principles. One of the things that sealed the deal for us – and I know many families feel the same – was, of course, the Viroqua Food Co+op. This store is a testament to the rich agricultural landscape these hollers and hills have provided, along with the people that are making it work every day – from the tobacco farmers to our Plain communities and our small dairy farmers. The VFC provides a vehicle of support for what we value in the region. And that vehicle keeps moving! Look at our community shine through this store! Our local farmers are the backbone of our Co-op, but keep in mind our amazing coffee roasters, bakers, cheese makers, sauerkraut makers, potters and fiber artists all showcased here at our beautiful store.
Working in organic certification at NICS in Viroqua imparts a special view of the makeup of small farms in this area. I have sat at many farmer’s tables hearing about the innovations and hardships that are a natural part of their lives. Farmers are always thinking about the next thing to work on, or to improve – and that’s also the work of the Board of Directors. We have spent the past few months celebrating the accomplishments of our staff and all of the people responsible for making the expansion dreams a reality. We have focused on making sure our bottom lines get met as well as casting a glance to the future.
There are three open seats to fill on the Board this year. Our store and our community need engaged and passionate people to volunteer time as members on the VFC Board. If you are considering candidacy, CLICK HERE for more information. Applications are due Friday, June 28.