Dear Co+op Community,
This fall, many farmers in the Driftless region are bringing in the harvest: vegetables and fruits, grains and beans, dairy and meat. Not everyone is so lucky. As if COVID weren’t enough to shock us into a reset, wildfires have burned millions of acres of the West. High temperatures scorch the Plains. Storms have once again torn through our own community.
How many times in the last 18 months have we heard, “We’re all in this together”? As familiar as the adage may sound, take a moment. Where in our modern lives are we permitted to live out that kind of camaraderie?
The cooperative model puts into practice what could otherwise be only aspirational principles. From democratic leadership and open membership to economic participation across stakeholders, the Co-op presents us all with a chance to enact our values of equity, cooperation, and community engagement.
From September 20 to October 20, you have an opportunity to shape the leadership and direction of our Co-op by voting for your Board of Directors. We have two seats up for three-year terms, with three excellent candidates running. We also have a special election to reelect Andrew Anderson for a one-year term as he fills the seat formerly held by Eric Snowdeal, our colleague and neighbor who passed away this summer.
We are not through the multiple crises confronting us yet, and maybe that is the point. The challenges and risks, opportunities, and rewards we’re experiencing now will shape our world far beyond our own time here. Our Co-op is a way for us all to live out the adage that we are all in this together, now and into the future, because through the Co-op structure, we are mutually connected as producers and consumers, owners and workers. As we transition into a new era globally, regionally, locally, and personally, let’s actively engage with the social and economic structures that truly lift us all up.
I hope you will take a moment this fall to make your voice heard and contribute to the future of our Co-op. Join me in voting starting September 20!