When Rose Welch and her husband, Ronnie Cummins, started the Organic Consumers Association in 1998, it was a tiny grassroots effort headquartered just north of Silver Bay. It was formed mainly to pressure the federal government to keep strict organic standards.
Now, the organization has seven employees in Finland, Minn., and a handful more spread across the country. Five years ago, they became international after they helped start an organic-focused nonprofit in Mexico.
Welch still remembers those early months, though, holding meetings at the library in Silver Bay and recruiting a high school student to help them build a GeoCities website.