Ms. Melinda Hemmelgarn

Reg. Dietitian; Freelance Writer; Speaker & Radio Host
Columbia, Missouri
United States

Focus Areas

Community & Civic Engagement


Louise Hemstead is a native Wisconsinite and graduate of University of Wisconsin – Madison with a degree in agriculture. She has put her animal and food science expertise to good use building her successful 25-year career in the dairy industry. For the past 15 years, Louise has dedicated her depth and breadth of experience to overseeing all operational aspects of CROPP Cooperative, which includes product research, quality assurance, organic certification, production scheduling and logistics. She is president of the Cooperative’s wholly owned subsidiary, Organic Logistics, the Cooperative’s distribution arm. Hemstead began her career at CROPP in 1993 as dairy program manager. “In the beginning, it was about contributing to a local economy and being closer to my kids, but it grew into even more of a blessing than I could have asked for. I’m curious and I wanted to learn. I handled everything from the farm milk pickup to the processing plant recruitment.” Her curiosity and innovative drive led her to develop a sustainable supply chain for the Cooperative that utilizes existing dairy infrastructure instead of the conventional thinking that would have led to building new infrastructure at great cost. Hemstead is a former licensed cheese-maker, a member of Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association (WCMA), a Wisconsin Dairy Products Association (WDPA) board member, a member of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (WI-DATCP) Producer Security Board; and is currently a member of UW-Madison College of Agriculture’s Board of Visitors and has served the National Institute of Agriculture as an organic industry advisor. She has served her community on her local school board, the local Kickapoo Reserve Land Committee, her church board and currently sits on the ELCA Lutheran Church-wide Council, a national board serving 4.2 million ELCA Lutherans. She and her husband David reside on a 4th generation organic family farm near La Farge, Wisconsin, which is home to CROPP Cooperative’s headquarters.