Organic Valley’s First-Ever Minnesota State Fair Exhibit

Organic Valley to Give Away Thousands of Organic Prairie Hot Dogs, Stringles Organic String Cheese, Organic Valley Milk, Coupons and More at the Co-Op’s Largest Sampling Event Ever

LA FARGE, Wis., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ — Organic Valley, the nation’s oldest and largest organic farmers cooperative, is giving Minnesota State Fair-goers a taste of organic hot dogs by Organic Prairie, the co-op’s meat brand, and Organic Valley organic cheeses and milk at the co-op’s largest-ever sampling event as part of the fair’s first-ever Eco Experience.

The “Eco-Experience,” presented by the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, includes a local and organic food and farming exhibit called “Healthy Local Foods,” an indoor green space with lush rain gardens, an eco home, a live stage and cutting-edge displays on renewable energy, new fuels and vehicles. It is located in the Progress Center Building on the fairgrounds, on the corner of Cosgrove and Randall.

Organic Valley expects to give away approximately 6,000 product samples each day of the fair, now through Monday, Sept. 4, offering many fair visitors their first taste of organic food made without pesticides, synthetic hormones or antibiotics.

Also, approximately 23 Organic Valley farmer-members will be at the fair to share what it is like to be an organic farmer. Farmers and their families will meet and greet visitors, and share stories about farming organically in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“I’ve been going to the ‘Great Minnesota Get Together’ for many years, so I’m excited to be part of a new exhibit dedicated to organic farming,” said Loretta Jaus, an Organic Valley farmer-member from Gibbon, Minn. “As the state’s largest consumer event with an agricultural focus, it’s the perfect place for me and other organic farmers to meet face-to-face with thousands of Minnesotans who love Organic Valley and believe in its mission to support family farmers.”

The following Organic Valley farmers will be at the fair at various times throughout the week:

— Albany, Minn.: Peter and Becky Gerads
— Altura, Minn.: John and Donna Bedtke
— Belgrade, Minn.: Joe and Toni Borgerding
— Belle Plaine, Minn.: Dave and Anne Jones
— Brandon, Minn.: Jean and Ben Wagner
— Browerville, Minn.: Mike and Keri Salber
— Elk Mound, Wis.: Doran and Mariann Holm
— Gaylord, Minn.: Dale and Ardis Husfeldt
— Gibbon, Minn.: Bonnie and Otto Hartmann
— Goodhue, Minn.: Dennis and Ruth Buck
— Jordan, Minn.: Pam and Jeff Riesgraf
— Kimball, Minn.: Erin and Kevin Donnay
— Kimball, Minn.: John and Christine Donnay
— Lake City, Minn.: Randy and Donna Meyer
— Ottertail, Minn.: Dori and Ken Larson
— Ottertail, Minn.: Ellen and Luke Dilly
— Pierz, Minn.: John, Sandy and Anne Wurzer
— River Falls, Wis.: Dan and Terri Pearson
— Rushford, Minn.: Dennis and Maureen Pronschinske
— Thorp, Wis.: Jen Peacock
— Wells, Minn.: Barry, Dennis, Diane, Tracy and Sara Lutteke
— Wells, Minn.: Joe Mutschler and Dawn Lutteke
— Withee, Wis.: Shaina Stigen and Alex Smoker

To arrange an interview with an Organic Valley farmer, please contact Molly Gaines, 612.372.6454 or molly@habermaninc.com .

Organic Valley is a leading sponsor of the “Healthy Local Foods” exhibit area within the Eco-Experience. Other exhibit participants include: Emergency Food Shelf Network, Heartland Food Network, Land Stewardship Project & Food Alliance, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Minnesota Food Association, Minnesota Grown Program, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA), Peace Coffee, The Minnesota Project, Wedge Co-op, and the White Earth Land Recovery Project. The exhibit is presented by Renewing the Countryside Project, an organization dedicated to showcasing rural renewal across Minnesota.

Gen-O: The New Generation of Organic Farmers

Organic Valley started Generation Organic in 2004 to nurture a new generation of organic farmers who are the heart of family farming. America lost 4.7 million farmers since 1935 and most of the 2.1 million who remain are over 55 years old. Organic Valley cooperative offers Gen-O educational initiatives including organic educational workshops, educational literature, support of existing farmer training programs, mentoring and internship opportunities. Organic Valley also offers certification assistance, and financial and technical support for farmers transitioning to organic, counseling by the co-op’s nationally renowned staff veterinarian, a farmer speakers bureau, a farmer hotline, web resources at http://www.farmers.coop/ and other services. To further support rural communities, the Organic Valley co-op gives a portion of profits back into the communities in which the farmers reside.

Organic Valley: Independent and Farmer Owned

Organic Valley Family of Farms is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents more than 800 farmers in 24 states and realized a record $245 million in 2005 sales. Focused on its founding mission of keeping small and mid-sized farmers farming, Organic Valley produces 200 organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce, juice and meats which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. For more information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit http://www.organicvalley.coop/ .

Web sites: http://www.organicvalley.coop, http://www.farmers.coop

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