Organic Valley has taken keen notice of the new dairy science major at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. To that end, the independent farmer cooperative based in La Farge, Wisconsin, has gifted $50,000 to the program.
Organic Valley, along with other university partners, celebrated the formation of the new major with the Dairy Science Kickoff event on Feb. 23 at Pioneer Farm. The new major began in fall 2016.
“When we started talking with UW-Platteville about this, the idea of promoting agriculture education and particularly agriculture education that might directly affect our business made a lot of sense to us,” said Jerry McGeorge, vice president of cooperative affairs for Organic Valley. “I think promoting agriculture and education is only going to be something that helps us in the long run, and we want to partner with UW-Platteville on this.”
Organic Valley produces 100 percent certified organic products. Approximately 90 percent of its business is dairy. The co-op also sells certified organic eggs, produce and meat products.
“We have a pretty significant group of our farmer members in the Platteville and Cuba City (Wisconsin) area,” said McGeorge.
“We are excited to be partnering with Organic Valley as the organic agricultural industry is a major part of this,” said Dr. Wayne Weber, dean of the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture.
“The gift itself is only part of what we hope to accomplish,” said McGeorge. “There is a lot of opportunity here, and I am really excited about that. This could be the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration for both organizations.”