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The AGgregator

Online Portal for State Co-ops Drives Collaboration & Better Service

From financial services to telecommunications and health care, cooperatives are everywhere. Look about your community and you will likely find a cooperative or two helping people meet their common needs through a group effort. In fact, there are more than 30,000 cooperatives across the country.

Last month, leaders from many of the 32 state co-op councils serving cooperative businesses in nearly every state in the nation met in Traverse City, Mich., to share experiences, network, and learn how to better serve cooperatives in their area. Cooperative Network, the largest state co-op council with more than 600 member co-ops in Minnesota and Wisconsin, officially unveiled a new web portal for state co-op councils to: 1. Assist the general public interested in co-op development to find local development resource 2. Gather and share information that will help co-op councils better serve their members.

State co-op councils are nonprofit cooperative trade associations that serve the needs of cooperatives in their states by providing legislative and regulatory representation, public information, director and staff education, and assistance on other issues common to co-op businesses. We represent a diverse range of co-ops including agricultural production, processing, marketing, livestock and genetics; credit unions; electric and telephone utility; farm supply; grocery; health care; mutual insurance; school district; and worker-owned cooperatives. Many of the co-op councils also count Farm Credit Banks and Associations among their members.

Cooperatives are used to collaborating, so this is aspect isn’t new— the state co-op council makes communication much more efficient and cost-effective than emails, phone calls and waiting for the next state co-op council meeting. We intend for this web portal to become the state co-op councils’ first stop for educational and legislative resources to improve our state and local communities.

The state co-op council community profoundly thanks the Farm Credit National Contributions Program for stepping forward to support the initial construction of the new web portal. We also thank the CHS Foundation for financing its ongoing operations. Moreover, we greatly appreciate our close working relationship with Farm Credit Banks and Associations across the country and know this web portal will help us to better serve them and cooperatives of all types across the nation.

Happy National Co-op Month!

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