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For other uses, see Land O'Lakes (disambiguation). Land O'Lakes Type Agricultural cooperative Founded 1921 (1921) Headquarters Arden Hills, Minnesota, U.S. Key people Christopher J. Policinski, President & CEO Industry Dairy Products Butter, cheese Total assets $4.9 billion (2008) Website landolakes.com Land O'Lakes is a member-owned agricultural cooperative based in Arden Hills, Minnesota, focusing on the dairy industry. The coop states that it has about 3200 producer-members, 1000 member-cooperatives, and about 9000 employees who process and distribute products for about 300,000 agricultural producers; handling 12 billion pounds of milk annually.[1] The coop is one of the largest producers of butter and cheese in the United States. Contents 1 History 2 Butter packaging 3 Allegations of animal mistreatment 4 Licensing 5 References 6 External links // History Processing plant in Kiel, Wisconsin. Land O'Lakes was founded on July 8, 1921 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, by representatives from 320 co-op creameries as the Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association. This organization aimed to improve marketing and quality of butter, and thus increase the profitability of dairying. The Association developed and implemented the systematic inspection, grading and certification of butter from member creameries, resulting in greater uniformity of product. The improved quality and uniformity, and the reliability of its grading system, were touted in advertising materials. In 1924, the uniformly graded sweet cream butter was given the name "Land O'Lakes" after a contest, and the certificate forms used by the Association included the "Land O Lakes" marketing name (Minnesota's state nickname is "Land of 10,000 Lakes"). The name became so popular that the organization's public identity was often confused with its product name; thus, in 1926, the organization itself adopted the name "Land O' Lakes Creameries, Inc." and became synonymous with its product. The coop was often accused of unfair competition and false advertising in its early years, and compelled to defend its inspection and certification processes. Eventually, however, the sweet butter marketing strategy drove competitors either to match the quality of butter produced under the Land O' Lakes name or see their sales decline. Many competitors in the dairy products business copied the Land O' Lakes approach, and the certification of quality became a proven marketing technique in other product lines as well. Its butter has won the ChefsBest Award for best taste. The Land O' Lakes coop has grown through numerous acquisitions, and now has a large business in farm supply in addition to dairy. In 2001, Land O'Lakes acquired Purina Mills, an animal feed business formerly owned by Ralston Purina.[2] Land O' Lakes was ordered by a federal court to pay $3 million in 2002 for patent infringement to the inventor of a type of dairy creamer.[3] The coop conducts six types of business enterprises: dairy foods, animal feed, crop seed, business development services, transport and licensing. Included among its brands are Land O'Lakes, Winfield Solutions, Purina animal feed, Alpine Lace, and Northwest Food Products Transportation.[4] Butter packaging The recursive image seen in the Land O' Lakes butter packaging is an example of the Droste effect. The Land O' Lakes Indian maiden holding the butter box was painted in 1928 by Brown & Bigelow illustrator Arthur C. Hanson, who also painted the original Old Style Lager logo.[citation needed] His original art hangs in the lobby of the Arden Hills office and depicts the maiden in a pastoral scene with lakes, pines, flowers and grazing cows in the background. According to Land O' Lakes, the original Indian maiden was "simplified and modernized" in 1939 by Jess Betlach and has undergone many minor modifications since as the enduring logo of the coop. The package image is an example of the infinite-loop motif or Droste effect, in which the image is repeated, in theory infinitely, within itself. Allegations of animal mistreatment In September 2009, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released an undercover video allegedly depicting animal abuse of dairy cows at a Pennsylvania supplier for Land O’ Lakes, Inc. The video showed unclean conditions in the barn and milking parlor and cows with infections and illness.[5] The supplier’s employee was found not guilty of animal cruelty charges resulting from this incident [6] and an investigation by veterinarians hired by Land O’ Lakes revealed no mistreatment of animals, but the veterinarians suggested that bedding, hygiene, ventilation and animal disposal practices be improved.[7] Land O' Lakes states that it is supportive of the dairy industry’s National Dairy F.A.R.M.: Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) animal care standards.[8] Licensing Dean Foods licenses the Land O' Lakes brand, selling creamers and fluid dairy products under the name.[9] References ^ "Welcome to Land O'Lakes, Inc.". http://www.landolakesinc.com/company/default.aspx. Retrieved 10 July 2010.  ^ COMPANY NEWS; LAND O'LAKES TO BUY A LEADING LIVESTOCK FEED COMPANY. New York Times. 19 June 2001. ^ Land O' Lakes Ordered to Pay Inventor. New York Times. 3 Jan. 2002. ^ "Businesses". http://www.landolakesinc.com/businesses/default.aspx. Retrieved 10 July 2010.  ^ "PETA: Cow Abuse at Land O' Lake Supplier". September 29, 2009. http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/Animal_Abuse_Connected_to_Minn_Co_sept_29_2009. Retrieved 2009-10-14.  ^ "Pennsylvania Magistrate Judge ruling". March 18,2010. http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/MDJReport.aspx?district=MDJ-08-3-02&docketNumber=PC-0000043-10. Retrieved 2010-03-23.  ^ "Land O'Lakes Investigation of Dairy Farm Concluded". October 12, 2009. http://www.flex-news-food.com/pages/26338/Dairy/Milk/land-olakes-investigation-dairy-farm-concluded.html. Retrieved 2009-10-14.  ^ "Land O'Lakes Member Cleared of Animal Cruelty Claims". March 19, 2010. http://www.landolakesinc.com/utility/news/member/ECMP2-0117737.aspx. Retrieved 2010-03-23.  ^ Dean Foods, Land O'Lakes expand strategic alliance. Eurofood. 15 Aug. 2002. Land O'Lakes History. Land O'Lakes Official Website. Kenneth D. Ruble. Men to Remember: How 100,000 Neighbors Made History. (Lakeside Press, 1947), a company-sponsored history of the early years of Land O' Lakes (1921-1945). See especially pp. 163–167 and 181-184, concerning the evolution of the name of the product into the company name. External links Official consumer site Company site WinField Solutions, LLC -- A Land O'Lakes company Company history, accessed July 31, 2006 v • d • e Minnesota-based corporations Fortune 500 Corporations (by size) UnitedHealth Group · Target Corporation · SuperValu · Best Buy · Travelers · 3M · U.S. Bancorp · CHS · General Mills · Medtronic · Xcel Energy · Land O'Lakes · Ameriprise Financial · C. H. Robinson Worldwide · Hormel · Thrivent Financial for Lutherans · The Mosaic Company · Ecolab · St Jude Medical Fortune 1000 Corporations (by size) Companies listed above, plus: PepsiAmericas · Nash Finch · Pentair · Alliant Techsystems · Valspar · Patterson Dental · Securian · Regis Corporation · Polaris Industries · Toro · Deluxe Corporation · Donaldson Company · Fastenal · H.B. Fuller · Federated Mutual Insurance · Ceridian Major non-public or externally owned corporations (alphabetically) Andersen · Cargill · Carlson Companies · Dairy Queen · Schwan Food Company v • d • e Dean Foods Alta Dena · Alpro · Arctic Splash · Barber's · Belsoy · Berkeley Farms · Borden · Broughton · Brown's Dairy · Country Fresh · Creamland · Dean's · Friendship · Garelick Farms · Gandy's · Heartland Farms · Horizon Organic · International Delight · Jilbert's · Land O'Lakes · Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms · Louis Trauth · Mayfield · McArthur · Meadow Brook · Meadow Gold (Pog) · Model Dairy · Mountain High · Oak Farms · The Organic Cow · Over the Moon · Pet · Price's · Provamel · Purity · Reiter · Robinson Dairy · Schepps · Silk · Stroh's Ice Cream · Swiss Tea · T.G. Lee · Tuscan Dairy Farms