Tell us about yourselves.
Ryan and I and our three children live on a small farm (Sullivan Family Farm) outside of Francis Creek where we raise laying hens, meat chickens, sheep and grow a variety of produce throughout the year in the field and in our hoop houses. I work full time as a physical therapist and Ryan is full time on the farm, though he also continues to be a member of the South Dakota Air National Guard in Sioux Falls where we lived for eight years after getting married. We love the country life, growing and raising food, spending time with the kids and reading and learning. Ryan and I are also very involved with the co-op, Ryan as a newly appointed board member and myself as part of the ownership committee.
Why did you join the co-op?
Since we first welcomed our daughter to the world eight years ago, we became much more knowledgeable and concerned about what we want to put into our bodies. We wanted to give her the healthiest foods we could, free from chemicals and other questionable substances. In further learning about our current food system, we had many concerns-the chemical usage, environmental damages, worker welfare to name a few. We love that the co-op will provide healthier food choices, primarily from local sustainable farms. Another passion of ours is to support local farms (since we also have one!) and being a busy family we really look forward to the convenience of many local products under one roof during regular grocery store hours.
Why does Manitowoc County need a food co-op?
A food co-op can only be good for the local economy and local environment. Industrial farming has affected our environment tremendously, primarily for the worse. Pollinator populations are decreasing, waterways are becoming polluted, health issues throughout the country are worsening. Many of these issues can be traced back to how our food is currently being produced. With an outlet to sell local products such as a food co-op, there will be further incentive for people in our area to farm more naturally and produce healthier products. We want to make Manitowoc County a healthier place to live, for us and our children. We are excited to be a part of the Clipper City Co-op and look forward to telling our grandchildren someday that we helped open the store!