Brought to you by CROPP Cooperative.
Organic and farmer-owned since 1988.
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Farm Art: The Art of the Co-op

Y’all know what a cooperative is, right? I always thought I did—that funky building with the mural on the downtown corner where hippies and hipsters gathered to get their granola, tofu, and quinoa. A magnet for the capital-disillusioned who believe they can create a better world if they help stock shelves and put their coin …

June 19th, 2017  |  Published in CROPP Culture, Sustainability

Good News Oasis

If you’re like me, your brain could use a rest, if not a month at the spa. Heated elections burn me out. Since this one was a mountain-sized wildfire, I’m going to soothe myself via complete immersion in remaining facts. During our turn into 2017, Organic Valley welcomed the 2,000th organic family farm into our …

April 11th, 2017  |  Published in Health & Wellness, Organic Farming

Why did our %#$!!# chickens cross the road?

Remember a while back when I blamed last year’s turkeys for our chickens’ sudden bad behavior? I may have to take it back, even though the turkeys won’t have the luxury to gloat after my heartfelt apology. Sorry. Our chickens used to be such good citizens. After at least twelve years minding their own business …

May 2nd, 2016  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Sustainable Living

The Magic Co-op

If you happen to stumble onto our hometown, you won’t know it. It’s as unremarkable as a stoplight. Not that we have one. Population 774, La Farge is just another sleepy village in a Wisconsin packed with them. There’s nothing to clue you in to the fact that a $1 Billion business turns the daily …

March 10th, 2016  |  Published in CROPP Culture, Food & Ag Issues, Travel  |  4 Comments

Making a Fattener

A few weeks ago I watched Making a Murderer, the latest Netflix binge bait that’s been the subject of so much water cooler talk. Phew! I’ll keep my opinions to myself, but I confess, I watched all ten hours bingily, then spent a few more reading media accounts of the film-making itself as well as …

February 12th, 2016  |  Published in Health & Wellness

Craning our necks at a kindred steward

There was a lot of talk about sex. Or reproduction, at least. No surprise, since our Public Affairs team at Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative was visiting one of the sexier outfits in our neck of the Wisconsin woods: Baraboo’s International Crane Foundation (ICF), the world’s leading center for habitat restoration and captive breeding of the world’s …

December 29th, 2015  |  Published in CROPP Culture, Outdoors, Sustainability

Confessions of a turkey turncoat

I really can’t say for sure how circumstances led me to such despicable acts. I am a traitor of unspeakable proportions. Okay, okay, in keeping with the theme of personal untrustworthiness, I really can say for sure. Taste and texture led me. Years ago, I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at my sister-in-law’s home in …

November 23rd, 2015  |  Published in CROPP Culture, Featured Post

Feed me yogurt, Seymour!

I am not myself today. I was not myself yesterday. The unexpected truth is, I’ve never been myself as imagined. Hey, you may never have been the you you thought you were, either. Although science has never taken a super precise count, you could probably get a room-full of biologists to nod along with the …

September 2nd, 2015  |  Published in Health & Wellness

Meet the New Grass

Based on what I read in today’s media, the vast majority of parents in America would explode if they learned that a classmate in their child’s school was not vaccinated against the Big Nasties—especially if the deficiency was due to other parents’ antagonistic stance regarding the safety of vaccines. It’s the herd-protection thing, and I’ll …

August 7th, 2015  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Grass Up!, Organic Farming

Dear Farmer, Why Are You Organic?

According to just about all known polling data, the number one reason people switch to organic food is concern for their family’s health. It may be a surprise to you, but health concern is not a leading reason conventional farmers decide to convert their farms to organic production methods. More often than not, it’s economic. …

July 28th, 2015  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Organic Farming  |  1 Comment


I "grew up" in southern Wisconsin, dangerously close to Illinois, so I harbor a liking for the Cubs. Spent my youth scurrying between that flat but rich region and my grandparents' farm in the Drifless—a place so stunningly different and, well, stunning, I live there now, with my lovely wife, Colette, many above-average children, two big dogs, various laying hens and one peacock, on the old farm where Herman and Lily milked 20 brown-and-white cows for many decades. I work as a writer for Organic Valley.