Sue Noble - Director
Sue Noble has twenty years of experience in asset-based community and economic development and is the founding executive director of Vernon Economic Development Association in western Wisconsin. She is dedicated to developing a regional food economy as a strategy for building wealth in rural communities. In 2009, on behalf of VEDA, Sue acquired an abandoned 100,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Viroqua and has converted it to a multi-tenant food processing and distribution center. She was instrumental in starting the Fifth Season Cooperative by acquiring a Buy Local Buy Wisconsin grant to provide the infrastructure for institutions to purchase local food. Sue serves on the advisory board for Fifth Season and is currently the interim-director. She has been recognized by the White House as a Rural Champion of Change and by the Small Business Administration as a Home Based Business Champion for Wisconsin and six states in the Midwest.
Kristen Martinek - Member & Marketing Coordinator
Kristen Martinek joined Fifth Season Cooperative in early 2019, bringing with a deep-seated passion to make a change to our food system. What started as studying nutrition in college, quickly evolved to wanting to understand food from the ground, changing her path from dietitian to organic farmer. Kristen has been a passionate steward of the land ever since she sunk her hands & feet into the warm soils of Hawai’i in 2009.
Since moving back to the Midwest in 2015, Kristen has poured all her love into the gardens on her family’s farm in the heart of the Driftless. In addition to her organic farming, Kristen brings her past experiences as Produce Manager at the Dill Pickle Food Coop & Communications Lead for Hawai’I Farmers Union – Halekakala Chapter.
Outside of the agricultural world, Kristen is the voice behind her blog & online business, Enjoy This Organic Life, is on the board of the Driftless Folk School, an avid yogi, outdoors enthusiast, Kangen water advocate, and is always on a mission to save our planet, one piece of plastic at a time.
Shari McCauley - Office Coordinator
Shari McCauley grew up in South Dakota and moved to Colorado Springs after high school, where she acquired a passion for local food. It was there that she met her husband, which led them to move to the Driftless where he was born & raised. Joining Fifth Season in 2017 was Shari’s reintroduction into full-time work after raising her two sons, which has rekindled love for local food & community. Outside of work Shari enjoys spending time with her family on the river, raising their chickens, and helping with the family garden.
Brian Wickert - Outside Sales
Brian Wickert is a biodynamic and organic vegetable farmer. He is a member of WI Farmers Union, a board member at Michael Fields Agriculture Institute and is currently serving as the Board President of the Fifth Season Cooperative. Brian works to establish new distributors for the co-op and is developing markets for industrial hemp production of CBD for our hemp grower members. Brian is most excited to be working with the multi-stakeholder co-op model at the Fifth Season Cooperative as he sees it as the future model of doing business everywhere. He is dedicated to working with the practices of biodynamic agriculture and supplies biodynamic preparations to other farmers through the region. Brian is married to Patty Wickert, together they have two grown sons and two grandchildren.
Dan Nielson - Warehouse Manager & Sales Support
Dan Nielsen joined Fifth Season Cooperative in early 2017. He became aware of Fifth Season while managing the Viroqua Farmer's Market, and jumped on board when the Warehouse Coordinator position became available. In addition to being the Warehouse Coordinator, he also conducts audits for our producer & processor members, provides sales support and is the self-proclaimed “odd jobber”.
Dan is a passionate believer in Fifth Season Cooperative’s mission of working with small farmers & producers expand their products into unique and otherwise unavailable distribution networks.