Katie Bishop

What has been your experience or relationship with FarmFED Co-op to date?

 

In addition to being a founding owner, I was approached by the existing board in the late fall of 2020 and was asked to join as a board member. I’m very passionate in local food, small farms, and rural resilience and wanted to be part of this great project. I’ve served on the interim board from early 2021 until currently with committee work specifically geared towards owner recruitment. 

 

What kind of relevant expertise and background do you have to offer as a potential board member?

 

In addition to serving on other farm and local food related boards, I’ve also successfully managed my existing vegetable farm with my husband for the past 12 years. We have 15+ plus employees so I’m very familiar with leadership strategies and working with teams. I’m also currently pursuing my Bachelors Degree in Organizational Leadership from Lincoln College. 

 

I have 18 years of experience working at State Farm Insurance (1998-2015), in various departments, with a focus on customer service, claims and internal controls. 

 

Finally, I was very involved in the planning, fundraising and implementing phases of Green Top Grocery Co-op in Bloomington, IL. 

 

Have you ever served on a board of directors before, or worked under the supervision of a board of directors? If so, in what capacity?

 

I have served on the following boards in addition to FarmFED: 

Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market Advisory Board 

Heartland Local Food Network board member  (secretary) 

Fairshare CSA Coalition Endorsement Committee member

Illinois State University Agricultural Advisory Board member

Illinois Farmers Market Association Board member 

SARE (Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education) Grant Review committee member 

 

How able are you to attend monthly meetings in person (in Mt. Pulaski), and how much time do you foresee having to commit to serving on the board?

 

Mt Pulaski is just a stones throw away from our farm, so I’m able to attend all meetings in person until there’s some unforeseen conflict. I’m able to commit 10-15 hours a month. 

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the ownership about yourself that you feel is important or relevant to serving on the board?

 

I see so much incredible potential for this cooperative to improve farmer’s lives, as well as the health of our community. I’ve witnessed, firsthand, the need for a processing center and distribution network for farmers who want to focus on growing specific crops, in larger quantities, therefore increasing efficiency and profitability. I’ve seen, firsthand, the need for our local institutions such as schools and hospitals to have access to a consistent supply of product, preserved in a way that allows ease of use no matter what season, and a product with high nutritional quality. I’ve seen, firsthand, the need for more jobs in Logan county and more revenue kept in our communities. I want to see Logan county’s economy and its surrounding farmers flourish and I want to see more local, healthy food on plates in our community. I believe FarmFed can accomplish these goals and I can’t wait to be part of the effort. 

 

Katie Bishop, PrairiErth Farm