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Organic Valley and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have created an endowment honoring Louise Hemstead, Organic Valley’s chief operating officer.

The award, which is to be presented annually to a faculty or staff member, acknowledges CALS graduate Hemstead’s pioneering work in dairy science and dairy business, according to a joint statement.

Hemstead also has served on the advisory board of CALS for a number of years and has fostered connections between the UW System and agriculture.

“Louise has been such an inspiration to a whole generation of agriculture educators, business people and farmers. This award will be a tremendous honor for a staff or faculty member every year,” CALS Dean Kate VandenBosch said.

Organic Valley will provide seed money for the award, which is expected to draw additional funding from numerous sources.

Organic Valley CEO George Siemon said, “Louise Hemstead is a strong link between Organic Valley and the University of Wisconsin — helping both of our organizations become stronger and create great work for organic agriculture. Louise’s influence at our cooperative and in the dairy industry as a whole will live on with this award.”

Other public-private partnerships between the UW System and Organic Valley include an endowed chair in seed breeding for organic agriculture — the first of its kind in the U.S. — that included funding from Organic Valley and Clif Bar. UW-Madison and Organic Valley also are engaged in several research projects intended to benefit all agriculture.

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Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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