Theresa Marquez has been a passionate advocate for organic food and farming since 1978 and is considered a pioneer of the natural foods movement. She joined CROPP Cooperative, the nation’s largest organic, farmer-owned co-op, in 1995 and soon became the co-op’s first chief marketing executive. In her 17 years as CME, she helped grow CROPP’s dairy brand, Organic Valley, to more than $820 million in 2012 sales, making it the second largest organic dairy brand in the United States.
In late-2012, Theresa changed her role to serve as “mission executive” at CROPP Cooperative. She loves that this new role enables her to continue passionately advocating for good food and farming and for CROPP as a leader in food and farming excellence.
“The CROPP mission is to keep family farmers on the land, strengthen rural communities, and maintain the highest standards of environmental stewardship, all while producing delicious food. It is immensely satisfying work,” says Theresa.
Theresa is the host of Rootstock Radio (www.rootstock.coop/radio), a weekly community radio and podcast series where Theresa interviews movers and shakers in the good food movement. She was a recipient of the Organic Trade Association’s 2010 Organic Leadership Award for Achievement in Growing the Organic Industry.
She credits her mother for teaching her the connection between food and the earth. “We are living in the most remarkable time,” she says. “The food system is broken, and we are the pioneers who are part of what it will take to fix it.”
Theresa lives on a ridge overlooking the peaceful Kickapoo River Valley in Wisconsin, where she enjoys playing in her garden and experimenting with grilled pizza.