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Hormel executive named as next Organic Valley CEO

Organic Valley has over 1,700 farmer-members across 34 states.

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Contributed / Hormel Foods
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LA FARGE, Wis. — The nation’s largest cooperative of organic family farms announced that it has hired a new CEO.

Jeff Frank will join the Organic Valley as CEO, effective Jan. 23, according to a press release from the cooperative. Outgoing CEO Bob Kirchoff announced his retirement last year.

"We are happy to welcome Jeff as our next CEO to guide organic food and farming into the future," said Steve Pierson, president of the Organic Valley board of birectors and a dairy farmer from Oregon. "He shares our values and vision of nourishing people, animals and the earth through ethically sourced organic food from small family farms. He has the skills and experience to navigate the complex challenges facing small organic family farms."

Organic Valley began in 1988 in Wisconsin's Coulee Region with just eight farmers and now has over 1,700 farmers across 34 states.

Frank departed from his role at Hormel as group vice president of grocery products to join Organic Valley as its third-ever CEO. He comes to Organic Valley after a 25-year career at Hormel Foods, where he held various senior roles in product and brand management, according to the release. In 2009, he took on the role of vice president of marketing at MegaMex Foods. He was later promoted to president and CEO of MegaMex Foods, where he "successfully led global supply chain efforts and brought successful consumer packaged goods to the market."

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"It's truly an honor for me to join the cooperative. I have a deep admiration for the mission of this organization, and I'm excited to collaborate to drive continued success into the future!" said Frank in the press release. "I look forward to working with the board, the farmer-members and teams across the cooperative and the industry to expand the impact of this revolutionary and independent food lighthouse, while staying true to its values and mission of producing ethically sourced food from organic family farms."

Kirchoff said that he's "confident that Frank will continue to uphold and enhance the reputation and values of Organic Valley."

"I think it's the perfect time for new leadership to guide the co-op's next phase of growth," said Kirchoff. "I'm so proud of the hard work farmers and employees have put in to keep this cooperative moving forward. I am so grateful for having the opportunity the cooperative gave me and the support along the way."

Related Topics: AGRICULTUREAGRIBUSINESS
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