New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Co-op Facts

 

October 21, 2019



“The theme for Co-op Month this year is: Co-ops: By the Community, For the Community,” stated Charles E. Snyder, president and CEO of National Cooperative Bank. “Cooperatives are unique because they operate for the benefit of their member-owners and communities. Having a vested interest in the co-op fosters a natural closeness and accountability between owners/members and management. We know this is a successful and sustainable business practice, since co-ops have been doing it for 175 years.”

The following are some fun facts about cooperative culture in America:  

• There are more than 40,000 cooperative businesses in the United States with 350 million members (many people belong to more than one co-op). These cooperatives generate $514 billion in revenue and more than $25 billion in wages, according to a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, with support from USDA Rural Development (http://reic.uwcc.wisc.edu/default.htm).

• Cooperatives represent a strong business model and greatly contribute to both the national and local economies.

• Studies show that consumers want to do business with companies that share their values, making today’s environment ideal for cooperatives and their commitment to the communities in which their members live and work.

• Co-ops don’t have to answer to outside shareholders; they care about meeting their members’ needs.

• Co-ops represent democracy in action, with control exercised by a board of directors elected from the ranks of members; the board hires and directs management and is ultimately responsible to the members.

• Cooperatives generate jobs in their communities, keep profits local and pay local taxes to help support community services. Cooperatives often take part in community improvement programs, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to benefit from the cooperative experience.

• Minnesota was the first state to declare an official Co-op Month proclamation in 1948.

• Co-op Month has been a nationally recognized celebration since 1964, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, a former Minnesota governor, proclaimed October Co-op Month.

• The first national theme in 1964 was “Cooperatives: USDA Helps Build a Better America.”

• The U.S. Government sponsored Co-op Month from 1964-70.

• Since 1971, cooperatives, statewide associations, and the National Cooperative Business Association have fueled their own events and promotions.

 
 

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