August Artist
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Carol Whipple
"People Say I'm too Pragmatic"
Art Opening: Friday, August 1, 4-7pm

Read Carol's artist statement and bio here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 July 2014 19:16
 
July 16, Board Meeting Highlights
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  • Fiscal Year 2014, that ended June 30, was very successful as profits were well over the projected $77,000!
  • In addition to offering our members the opportunity to purchase preferred shares or make member loans at a minimum investment of $1,000, the board agreed to make available a limited number of opportunities to purchase preferred shares or make member loans at a minimum investment of only $500. These preferred shares will carry the same annual dividend rate (4%) and the loans will be eligible for the same interest rates (0-3%) as the shares and loans offered at the $1,000 level.
  • Wheatsfield is entertaining two different loan proposals for the expansion project. One that we received from the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) in June and one from Greater Iowa Credit Union that we received in mid-July. We will select the loan proposal that best suits our parameters/needs(?) when negotiations with both lending institutions conclude.
  • With the negotiations with NCB and Greater Iowa still ongoing and the agreement to either of the loan proposals pending, we've decided to postpone our first meeting with member-owners that was originally scheduled for July 28. The first meeting with member-owners will now be on Tuesday, August 5 with additional meetings on August 9, 17, and 27.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 19:25
 
1st Member Expansion Financing Meeting Rescheduled
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Due to competing loan offers from multiple banks to finance the upcoming expansion, the Board has decided to reschedule the first member financing meeting scheduled for July 28th. More time is needed to review the rates and terms that are the best decision and fit for the co-op. This will also allow you to make a more informed decision on your financing options. Sorry for the inconvenience and delay.

The first meeting will be held as scheduled on August 5th at 7pm in the East Space. Please RSVP if possible. more meeting dates and expansion info

 
Only Iowa Sale, July 26th
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Make your list and shop our annual Only Iowa Sale on July 26th. Save 10% on regularly priced local products, non-members save 5%. Local producers will be sampling from 12-6pm and two live local music acts will play from 12:30-5pm. In addition, we will have giveaways and kids activities. View our current local producers in our 2014 local producer infographic! It showcases our 100 local producers and last fiscal year's local sales of over $1.3 million!

You can shop the sale from 7am-9pm.


 
The 2014 Local Season
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July 2014 Produce Parable
Adam Calder

The local season is off to a tumultuous start this summer.  We had a great spring with plenty of rain spaced out between sunny, warm days which got the local produce off to a great start.  As we have moved into the summer season, there have been less and less gentle rains and more and more heavy, hard hitting thunderstorms.  Between the driving winds, six inches of rain falling in just a couple of hours and the golf ball to soft ball sized hail, some local crops did not fare well. read more

 
July / August Field Journal
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Our July / August 2014 Field Journal  features a producer spotlight on Agri-cultured, a local fermented foods producer. Enjoy our 2014 local producer infographic showcasing the 100 local producers at the co-op, read about our 40th anniversary celebration, learn about superfoods, and more.

 
July Co-op Nickel Organization
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Iowa Wildlife Center

Funds raised in July will be donated to the Iowa Wildlife Center. The Iowa Wildlife Center provides professional wildlife rescue, medical treatment and rehabilitation of native wildlife in central Iowa; teaches about wildlife and habitat stewardship; and provides wildlife assistance skills training. The center is working to build highly collaborative relationships with other organizations in the Ames area. Since July 2013, the Co-op Nickel program has raised $3,151.61!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 19:53
 
Member-Owner Financing Meetings
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Have questions about expansion? Want to invest in the co-op? Attend one of the following meetings to learn more about expansion and member-owner financing options.

Monday, July 28 6pm
Tuesday, August 5 7pm
Saturday, August 9 12 noon
Sunday, August 17 1pm
Wednesday, August 27 6pm

 
June 18, Board Meeting Highlights
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  • 20,000 shoppers visited Wheatsfield in May; the most ever in a single month in Wheatsfield's 40-year history!

  • The City of Ames awarded Wheatsfield a Downtown Façade Grant for the new storefront along Main Street and Northwestern Avenue as part of the expansion project.

  • The board approved a financing proposal from the National Cooperative Bank (NCB), allowing NCB to proceed with our application for a loan of $750,000, over 8 years, for the expansion project.

  • The board approved details regarding member financing of the expansion project. Our member financing goal is $500,000 through a combination of member loans and preferred shares. The minimum investments for both loans and shares will be $1,000. Loans under $10,000 can select an interest rate up to 3%; loans over $10,000 can select an interest rate up to 5%. The dividend rate for preferred shares will be 4% paid annually.

  • Mark your calendars for member-owner meetings providing more details about member loans and preferred shares: July 28, August 5, August 9, August 17, and August 27.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 18:55
 
A Decade at the Co-op
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June 2014 Produce Parable         

By Adam Calder      

         

This June marks my ten year anniversary of employment at Wheatsfield Cooperative.  I’ve been here so long, in fact, that when I started I was technically hired by the non-profit business Wheatsfield Grocery, as at that time we had not yet become an official cooperative. 


When I look back at the past decade, I can hardly believe it’s been so long if it weren’t for all of the changes I’ve experienced over the years.  The cooperative has grown much since I started as a weekend cashier.  Back then, the produce department was right next to the cash registers, the wellness department was right next to the cereal and bulk aisle, and there was no deli, marketing department, meat department, loading dock, or parking lot. read more

Last Updated on Monday, 23 June 2014 13:55
 
June Co-op Nickel Organization
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Habitat for Humanity of Central Iowa, Shelley's Wheelchair Accessible Duplex

Funds raised will be allocated to help Shelley Jaspering, a long-time Wheatsfield staff member, fund a wheelchair accessible Habitat for Humanity duplex. In 2005, shortly after becoming a staff member at the co-op, Shelley became paralyzed in an accident. The duplex will help Shelley live more independently. The other side will be home to Shelley's friend Jason, who is pictured to the left of Shelley in the photo.


Since July 2013, the Co-op Nickel program has raised $2,679.10! Learn more about the program.


Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 22:46
 
May / June Field Journal
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Our May / June 2014 Field Journal  features a producer spotlight on Fieldstone Farms, a local honey producer. Enjoy photos celebrating our 40th anniversary, discover natural solutions for seasonal allergies, plant a medicinal garden, read about five wines for the season, and more!

 
May Co-op Nickel Organization
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Kate Mitchell Elementary, Sawyer Elementary, and the Ames
Middle School Gardens


  • Gardens are overseen by a partnership between the Volunteer Center of Story County and Prairie Rivers of Iowa RC&D and are an official Farm to School chapter.
  • Past programs include an after-school garden club, cooking classes, composting, and a farmers’ market.
  • The gardens provide a hands-on laboratory to achieve the Iowa CORE and Grade Level Expectations.
  • The gardens educate and engage both students and the community on sustainable food systems and healthy food knowledge.
  • Kate Mitchell is currently undergoing construction and renovations, causing the garden to be relocated and smaller in size.
  • The gardens are volunteer driven! Contact gardens@vcstory.org to volunteer!

Since July 2013, the co-op nickel program has raised $2,277!


Last Updated on Monday, 05 May 2014 18:39
 
April 16, 2014 Board Meeting Highlights
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  • March 2014 saw $591,798.04 in sales at Wheatsfield. This is the best month of sales ever in Wheatsfield's 40-year history!
  • Over $900 of patronage and preferred shares dividends were donated back to Wheatsfield. The board is now determining how best to share and grow this money. Among the suggestions briefly discussed were monetary award(s) or micro-loans issued on the basis of soliciting applications from our local producers. 
  • The board approved a motion to proceed with the proposed expansion project subject to securing suitable financing. Estimated construction and equipment costs are within previously established budget parameters. Next steps will include design plan, equipment and fixture choices, member financing, merchandising plans, signage, and interior design to name a few.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 20:55
 
May Wellness Whenever
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May is a Wellness Whenever month! Member-owners save 10% on one Wellness Department shopping trip during the month. This includes regularly priced supplements and body care items. Shop your co-op and save! Print off this coupon or let the cashiers know you would like to use your Wellness Whenever coupon on your next shopping trip.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 19:14
 
April Co-op Nickel Organization
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Co-op Natural Foods

Food co-ops are an integral part of their communities for many reasons including the jobs they provide, the local economies they support, the whole foods they supply, and the community building they offer. For these reasons and more, the national food co-op community was shocked to learn of a suspected burglary and a subsequent arson at Co-op Natural Foods in Sioux Falls, South Dakota that occurred in January. The co-op suffered extensive damage with almost everything a complete loss. When starting the co-op nickel program, we saw it as an opportunity to help support our local community first and foremost, but for this April’s organization we must also turn to the sixth international cooperative principle, cooperation among cooperatives.


While insurance will help the co-op rebuild in part, there are countless other expenses and unexpected losses that Co-op Natural Foods faces in the rebuilding months ahead. Expenses like deductibles and purchasing of a new inventory as well as losses like lost staff wages and a lost market for local producers. In addition, Co-op Natural Foods attracts customers for miles around as the only food co-op in South Dakota. Many co-ops around the nation are also using similar programs to support the rebuilding process of Co-op Natural Foods. Please join us in supporting this co-op, Wheatsfield will match the funds raised. see past amounts raised

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 21:35
 
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LOCAL SPOTLIGHT

Milton Creamery

Milton, IA
Miles to the Co-op: 154.9

Rufus and Jane moved to Southeast Iowa from Pennsylvania in 1992 and with their five children they started milking cows.

read more