Daniel Smith has been selected to lead Cooperative Network as its President & CEO, effective Feb. 28, 2018.
In this role, Smith will direct all activities of the two-state operations. His primary duties include working with all cooperative sectors, membership recruitment, directing the legislative and regulatory agenda in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, and working closely with cooperative directors, managers and employees.
“I look forward to taking what I’ve learned in my professional career and helping cooperatives across both states realize and seize opportunities through the cooperative business model,” Smith says. “I have relied on cooperatives all of my life and am excited to lead Cooperative Network to new levels of success.”
Smith has spent the last four years serving as the Agricultural Development Division Administrator at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Smith, who was appointed to the role by former DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel, was tasked with farm and agri-business development services and marketing on a state, national and international level. Prior to his service at DATCP, Smith led Midwestern BioAg as the Chief Executive Officer and was a dairy producer for 30 years on his home farm in Freeport, Ill.
“The Cooperative Network Board of Directors and Staff are eager to welcome Dan to the team,” says Board Chair, William Zuhlke. “His background and appreciation for and understanding of the cooperative way made him the ideal choice to lead this organization and best represent our diverse membership.”
Smith, a graduate of UW-Madison, resides in Arena, Wis. with his wife of 38 years, Cheryl. Together, they have three children and one grandchild.
Cooperative Network serves approximately 400 Wisconsin and Minnesota member-cooperatives by providing advocacy, education, public awareness, and development services to a wide variety of cooperatives including agricultural marketing and processing, credit unions, dairy, electric, Farm Credit, farm supply, health care, mutual insurance, housing, service, telecommunications, worker-owned cooperatives, and more. For more information about Cooperative Network, visit www.cooperativenetwork.coop.