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R is for Relief

Greetings. As you read this I am sure warm days have given way to a melancholy wisp of late summer. So it is with our four-season home, somewhat predicable and always changing, and so it is with the Co-op’s business as well. As a reminder, while we will all be doing a lot of voting this fall, please take a moment to educate yourselves and VOTE for Co-op Board members at your convenience; it makes all of us stronger.

“R is for Relief”

In the last several months the Midwest has suffered some of the worst flooding on record. Flooding began last August when a mild drought led into two months of heavy (in some cases record) rainfall. As I’m sure you are all aware, summer is a critical time for farmers, who have spent a whole growing season nurturing crops, only to have them flooded and in many cases completely ruined. In response to this, the Co-op began the “R for Relief” program, which allowed Co-op owners to make a small donation to aid local farmers affected by the floods (in the same way as one might CHIP).

Then, beginning in early June this year, our region was hit with what some experts call a “500-year flood,” meaning that the severity is such that an event of its scale statistically happens only once every five centuries. It has now been estimated that crop losses have reached over $65 million in Dane County alone. The Co-op has now re-commissioned the “R is for Relief” program. As of writing, this program has raised more than $5,300 for Midwest farmers affected by the flooding. This money, which has been generously donated by you, the owners of the Willy Street Co-op, is being passed on to Family Farm Defenders (, a local non-profit organization that works to support small-scale family farms. Through community support, we may be able to mitigate some of the effects of these terrible events. It is an important reminder that we as consumers should be indebted to the producers of our food.

Other goings-on

The Willy Street Co-op’s Fiscal Year 2009 began on Monday, June 30th, 2008. As specified in the Co-op’s bylaws, the Board is currently undertaking an annual audit. The results of this audit, along with the year-end report will be published no later than the October Reader.

At the June 17th meeting, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to accept the recommended FY09 Operating and Capital budgets. Historically, approval of the budget went to the membership; however, as a result of the vote to approve the updated bylaws (on March 18th, 2008) the Board Finance Committee makes a recommendation, which the Board then votes on (as trustees of the membership). What this means is that this year’s budget has been reviewed and approved in a much more timely fashion than past budgets. These budgets will be published in the September issue of the Reader.

Now, back to that corn on the cob! Enjoy the rest of summer.

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