A Brief Introduction to Agricultural Cooperatives

Oregon State University

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

A compelling need might lead you to consider forming an agricultural cooperative. Perhaps you need to expand in existing markets or develop new markets beyond the bargaining power or supply potential of your business - but understanding the full meaning of a co-operative is essential

This report is produced by Oregon State University and is designed to help you learn more about agricultural cooperatives or to help you think through the process of organizing and operating such a business.

The topics covered include:

  • Why do something cooperatively?
  • The nature of a cooperative
  • Key people for success
  • Avoiding common mistakes
  • Toward making the cooperative a success
  • Contrasting a cooperative with other forms of business
  • Historical background.
  • Common cooperative functions
  • Underlying economic principles that may invite creation of cooperatives
  • Prospective strengths and weaknesses of a cooperative business form
  • Equity and debt considerations
  • Legal organization
  • Cooperative management characteristics
  • The nature and role of cooperative directors
  • Membership responsibilities
  • Cooperative influences on public policy
  • Relationships and linkages between independent, federated, and centralized cooperatives
  • Sources for additional information

In conclusion the report states that as you consider an agricultural cooperative, keep in mind that not all business concepts fit well into a cooperative form of business. It is important to explore alternative forms of business for meeting your economic goals.

2004 - United States - Oregon State University
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