In 1988, a small group of organic vegetable growers in Wisconsin formed a cooperative to provide stable and fair prices to its members. With the addition of dairy farmer members and an explosion of consumer interest in organic dairy products, the dairy segment of the co-op grew rapidly. It evolved into Organic Valley, the largest organic, farmer-owned cooperative in North America. As of 2011, Organic Valley has over 1,600 total members in 34 states and the Canadian province of Ontario and more than $600 million in gross sales.
Beyond providing economic stability to its members, Organic Valley seeks to achieve ambitious goals regarding ecological and economic sustainability, diversity, energy conservation, food quality and advancement of cooperative principles.