Vice Chair of the Global Animal Partnership Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer and founding farmer of CROPP Cooperative and its brands Organic Valley and Organic Prairie, George Siemon has been farming organically for more than 20 years and is an acclaimed leader in sustainable agriculture that promotes the well-being of animals and protects land, water, air, and wildlife. Under Mr. Siemon’s expertise, CROPP Cooperative has become the largest organic farmers’ cooperative in North America with more than 1,600 family farms.
CROPP Cooperative was formed in 1988 by a handful of farmers dedicated to preserving our rural heritage and keeping families on the farm. Our cooperative is owned by more than 1,600 family farms engaged in the important task of providing high quality products to our customers. As a leader in the organic industry, I am a champion of a system of farming that supports family farms, defends the ethical, humane treatment of farm animals, benefits the environment, and gives consumers high-quality organic food.
One significant component of quality is how the animals are cared for; humane animal treatment is a cornerstone of organic production practices. Additionally, we define organic as a philosophy and system of production which mirrors the natural laws of living organisms with an emphasis on the interdependence of all life.
We have built this cooperative on the philosophy of continuous improvement. We believe that Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards system has continuous improvement as a foundation of the program. GAP is the only animal welfare, third-party verification system that has embraced continuous improvement. I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors and to provide the perspective of our diverse organization.