The following is a collection of material to aid in the understanding of the cooperative business model. Due to their unique structure of ownership by customers, cooperatives are often misunderstood, even by those who use them. Additional material about cooperative management can be found in our Newsletter and Presentations sections.
Defining the Cooperative
Cooperative businesses are a common sight across rural America. Yet, they are often misunderstood—sometimes by those who use them. A basic understanding of their origin, operation, and challenges bring newfound respect for this unique type of business. This brief and informative article describes the cooperative business in familiar terms.
The New Generation Cooperative
New generation cooperatives focus on value added processing, allowing the farmer to hold onto a larger share of the consumer dollar and guarantee him a buyer of his commodities. While not strictly “new”, this concept has gained newfound interest as state legislatures contemplate new cooperative business models. This brief article helps to explain the operation of this alternative to the traditional cooperative.