Viroqua Food Co-op GM Wins County Friends of the Cooperative Award

Member-owned Cooperatives Bring Economic Strength to Western Wisconsin

The Vernon County Dairy Promotion Committee and the Vernon County Cooperative Association will be holding their annual Dairy Gala at the Viroqua VFW, Thursday, Oct. 15.

Last year, approximately 100 people attended the event, which highlights the importance of the dairy industry and the effectiveness of member-owned cooperatives to the economic strength of an area.

The Vernon County Cooperative Association will present two Friends of the Cooperative awards at the event. This year’s recipients include Jan Rasikas, general manager of the Viroqua Food Co-op, and Ralph and Sheila Petersheim, owners of Welsh-Edge Holsteins farm near Viroqua. Both parties will be presented certificates for their service to the communities they serve and the cooperatives they helped build.

The Vernon County Dairy Promotion Committee will also present two awards. The committee has selected, but not released, the names of the 2015 Dairy Industry Restaurant of the Year and Friend of the Dairy Industry awards, which will be announced at the banquet.

General Manager Jan Rasikas

Jan Rasikas, general manager of the Viroqua Food Co-op for 15 years, works to empower VFC’s community through access to healthy food, economic viability, social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

Rasikas is passionate about cooperative business, supporting and participating in regional and national co-ops. She is currently serving on the National Cooperative Grocers board of directors, is an adviser for Fifth Season Co-op, Center Point Co-op, and a founding board member of the national Principle Six Co-op trade movement cooperative.

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