Member Spotlight: Jim O’Loughlin

Jim O’Loughlin and his wife, Julie Husband, have three children, Nic (19), Devin (16) and Ian (11). Julie and Jim have both taught English at UNI since moving to Cedar Falls in 2000. Jim is the host of the Final Thursday Reading Series at the Hearst Center for the Arts, a forum for creative writers that is now in its 18thseason. He recently edited and published, Planting Red Geraniums, a collection of previously unknown James Hearst poems that he discovered.

As a downtown resident and bike commuter, Jim really appreciates all that can be done within a short walk or ride. Since they bought their first house here, there’s been a new library, a new Lincoln Elementary School, an expanded Recreation Center, not to mention the investments made in the trail system. So, they have come to appreciate that a changing community can become a community with more to offer its residents.

Jim is a regular customer at Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy and makes use of the Co-op discount on milk there all the time. Hansen’s Dairy is one of the many Co-op business partners that offer discounts to our members.

Jim feels that a Co-op can focus on the kind of farm-to-table initiatives that Iowa needs and is well-suited to offer.  Diversified farming can lead to safer waterways and healthier eating. It’s a win-win situation. But a Co-op can do more than just provide food. It can become a community resource that offers cultural programming and education.

Jim is a runner and a biker and loves to cook.  He was a co-founder of the Overman Park Neighborhood Association and is currently the group’s President. Last summer, he and his friend, Jon Taiber, made the inaugural SingleSpeed kayak loop, paddling from downtown Cedar Falls to downtown Waterloo and back, which is sure to become a regular summer event.

Between Julie’s ambitious vegetable garden and Jim’s modest herb garden, they can eat salads with ingredients they mostly grow themselves throughout the summer. Nothing tastes better than food you grow yourself and pick just before eating.

Jim loves spring in Iowa. When the calendar says spring has started, it’s like the word goes out to nature and everything begins to turn a vibrant green. It’s an amazing transformation to see every year.

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