Organic Valley, America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands, said it is planning a $6.1 million addition to its La Farge, Wis., headquarters. Officials said they expect to break ground this November and complete the project in June 2011.

The expansion plan calls for a 33,000-square-foot building attached to Organic Valley’s existing 50,000- square-foot headquarters. The new building feature a research and development lab, a large multi-purpose room for wellness activities and additional office and meeting space.

“We founded Organic Valley with a mission to save family farms and bring vitality back to America’s rural communities,” said George Siemon, Organic Valley CEO and one of the group's founding farmers. “This new expansion shows we’ve not only accomplished our goals, but it proves that people nationwide, and more specifically those in Southwest Wisconsin, support local businesses and the organic movement.”

Despite a down economy, Organic Valley said it predicts 19 percent sales growth in 2010, with revenue reaching $622 million compared to $523 million in 2009. As sales increase, so do Organic Valley’s dairy product offerings, which in the past two years have expanded to include pourable yogurt and omega-3 milk.

Organized in 1988, Organic Valley represents 1,630 farmers in 33 states and four Canadian provinces, and achieved $523 million in 2009 sales. The co-op processesorganic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a range of organic meats under the Organic Prairie label.