Meet the Candidate – John
Describe your experience with this cooperative and cooperatives generally.
I’ve been a member for 10 years and was a part-time employee almost a decade ago, and joined the board as president a year ago. As for co-ops generally, I’m interested in the farmers co-ops in the earliest part of the century and the equality and market power they were organizing to achieve. We have a long way to go still, so I am a member of Bayfield Foods, a local farm cooperative and serve on its board.
Summarize your professional experience and relevant sills. What unique skills, personal qualities, or perspectives will you bring to the board?
I am a farmer and before that was a journalist so I like food and communicating; with those two things I try to build community. My board perspective is based around respecting everyone who comes in the door and the different ways we all communicate and remembering that we all want the same thing and have different ideas on how to get there.
What’s your vision for the future of our cooperative? What makes you passionate about the co-op and/or its mission?
I want to see the co-op membership continue to increase by leaps and bounds every month and then build our food community. With co-op classes and offering meals and events that nurture us, people will keep coming to join an institution that has the framework to weather economic downturns and the fickle food industry. I am passionate about the co-op because of the work that has been put into it – a huge community investment and labor of love over the years from so many people.
Why are you interested in serving on the co-op’s board of directors?
Because we have good people on the board and it’s inspiring for me to work with them. We all learn from others’ perspectives and try to make the best decisions for the co-op. I enjoy our discussions and debates and am proud of the board and the entire co-op.
Add anything else you feel is relevant to your candidacy.
I sell my vegetables locally and in Duluth and have backgrounds with the markets, people and processors in the area for local food. I am also a member of the Ashland-Bayfield Farmers Union, a great state and national organization working for small farms by empowering all rural people.