Bob Kirchoff was appointed CEO by the CROPP Cooperative Board of Directors in 2019. Although he signed on with CROPP as its chief business officer in 2016, he is no stranger to the cooperative. In fact, he has been involved with CROPP since 1993 because of his long tenure at the St.-Paul-based Schroeder Company, which was the first processor to take CROPP’s organic milk. “The volume started very small, about half a truck, 3,000 gallons,” Bob says. “Today it is one of the co-op’s largest co-processors.”
At Schroeder, Bob worked through the ranks of the organization to vice president of operations and vice president of sales before being appointed CEO and president in 2004. During his time as CEO/president, the company doubled its revenues. In 2008, he shepherded the sale of the company to Agropur Cooperative, a leading manufacturer of dairy products in Canada. Bob continued as president of the newly established Agropur Division Natrel USA until he retired in 2014.
In his role at CROPP, Bob’s work focuses on maximizing the value of CROPP Cooperative’s farmer-members’ product and optimizing the co-op’s complex supply chain, all to support the co-op’s mission of providing a stable pay price to its farmers. He leads CROPP strategy and associated implementation, guides leaders to foster partnerships to maintain and create new revenue streams, integrates resource allocation efforts with planning and outcome assessment, and supports the development of creative business solutions to the challenges CROPP faces.
“I decided to take this job because of the people, the culture and the mission,” Bob says. “CROPP is an unusual organization in that way. It’s easy to work with people who are so engaged in the culture and the brand. It’s such a great place to work and the people are awesome.”