The Co-op Difference

Cooperative governance is democracy in action! Elected democratically from the ownership, the Board of Directors guides the vision of the co-op, enabling all Owners to have a say in how the co-op is run. 

The Grain Train's Board consists of five to nine Directors who each serve three-year terms. The Board is responsible for protecting Owners' assets by ensuring that the co-op is fiscally sound and viable. Additionally, they establish and monitor the co-op’s governance policies, and hire, monitor, and evaluate the General Manager. 


Run for the Board

Run for the Board!

There are three 3-year terms and two 1-year terms up for election in 2020.

Please read the Prospective Directors' Handbook for more information about eligibility, the application process, and what it means to serve on the Grain Train's Board. Applications are currently closed for the 2020 election, but we hope interested owners will consider running in the future.

 Prospective Directors' Handbook:


Meet our Board of Directors 



Lynn Wolf photo

Lynn Wolf 



Hal Willens photo   

Hal Willens

Vice President


David Heidtke photo

David Heidtke



Paula Welmers photo

Paula Welmers



 Mark Blaauw-Hara photo

Mark Blaauw-Hara



Lindsay Hall photo

Lindsay Hall 



Mike Holifield photo 

Mike Holifield









Policy Governance

The Grain Train Board operates using the Policy Governance model, which was developed to allow Boards to maintain accountability for organizational performance while focusing on providing visionary leadership around our 'big-picture' mission.

With this model, there are four different categories of board policies, and all board policies must fall into one of these categories:

  1. Ends (the intended results for the customers): Ends policies all deal with ends, while all other categories of board policies deal with means.
  2. Executive Limitations (the limitations put on the General Manager): Executive limitations policies all deal with means, but they are written in the negative, telling what means the General Manager shall not use, instead of what means the General Manager shall use to accomplish the organizational goals (this avoids the two extremes of “micro-managing” and “rubber-stamping”).
  3. Board-Staff Relationships (how the board will interact with the General Manager): Board-Staff relationship policies all deal with means that the Board will use to interact with the Staff through the General Manager.
  4. Governance Process (how the board will govern itself): Governance Process policies all deal with means that the Board will use to govern and monitor itself throughout the year.

You can find the full Policy Register adopted by the Grain Train's Board here.



The Grain Train's owners delegate authority to the Board of Directors with a set of Bylaws, which explain the fundamental rights and responsibilities of both the owners and the board. 

Board Meeting Minutes 

Last Meeting's Minutes:

Board Minutes Archive