CFAES Center for Cooperatives
The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Center for Cooperatives’s mission is to support the dissemination of research-backed knowledge though teaching, research, and technical assistance.
The Center for Cooperatives supports undergraduate, graduate, and adult learning through a variety of educational components, including:
- Cooperative education to students of the Ohio State University and OSU Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI)
- Educational resources and tools for cooperative businesses and students of cooperatives
- Board of director training and member education to new and existing cooperative businesses
- Educational seminars and teaching on cooperative topics at workshops and conferences across the region and nationwide
- Distance education opportunities and online technical assistance
The Center for Cooperatives produces and shares quality academic research on the cooperative business model and the state of cooperatives. The Center,
- Carries out research that contributes to cooperative scholarship with a special focus on agricultural co-ops
- Facilitates applied research for the benefit of cooperative stakeholders
- Disseminates research outcomes in publications, presentations, and online, and
- Creates opportunities for students to gain experience in academic research and the cooperative model
The Center for Cooperatives supports the dissemination of research-based knowledge through technical assistance, teaching, and applied research to support the decision-making of cooperative stakeholders. The Center,
- Develops meaningful connections with organizations that support cooperative businesses and links co-op stakeholders to these organizations to help them achieve their business goals
- Provides outreach to students to engage youth in cooperative activities
- Provides practical programming that inspires growth and engages co-op members and employees in the business
- Assists new and emerging cooperatives with business, marketing, and financial planning, and
- Provides ongoing technical assistance to facilitate the success of cooperative businesses over the long-term
Hannah Scott, Program Manager
Hannah Scott, JD, is the program manager of the CFAES Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State where she leads the creation and implementation of programs and assistance to foster cooperative and rural business in Ohio, West Virginia, and beyond. Hannah is passionate about cooperative opportunities in agriculture and rural communities, having worked with a variety of agricultural producers who have established co-op enterprises and leading the Ohio & West Virginia Food Hub Network and the Appalachia Cooperates Initiative. She completed the Certified Business Advisor Certificate Program through Kent State University and the Ohio Small Business Development Centers.
Melissa Whitt, Program Specialist
Melissa Whitt brings over 15 years of leadership experience in communications, marketing, community engagement, and business development to the team. She earned a B.A. in Organizational Communications and an A.A.S. in Electronic Media, with a concentration in video production, from Ohio University Southern Campus, as well as a Marketing Program Certificate from OUS. Melissa has a talent for building successful relationships with diverse organizations to facilitate cooperation and help bridge gaps in communication and program development in the Appalachian region. Her previous leadership roles include, business development, strategic planning, and human resources for a plastics recycling startup, where she helped develop the operations team, develop and manage onsite business operations for the entire manufacturing facility, coordinate, develop and manage company and community events, engagements and dinners; community relations and development for a regional FQHC behavioral health center, where she worked on public relations and marketing projects, including chairing major fundraisers for youth outreach and prevention programs and setting record breaking numbers for awareness, net profits and engagement.
Samantha Black, Program Coordinator
Samantha Black is the program coordinator for CFAES Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State University. She is a graduate of Lindsey Wilson College with her B.A. in Human Services and Counseling. Sam has over 14 years working with state and county agencies, assisting farmers, businesses, and individuals in acquiring grants, program assistance and scholarships. Previous roles have included overseeing employee management, chief financial officer, office manager, working with numerous board of directors, conducting annual audits, creating and implementing policy and procedures, and communications. She enjoys working with the different entities to help accomplish their mission and assisting individuals in meeting their goals. Samantha lives in southern Ohio with her husband and helps manage her family’s generational farm which raises row crops and livestock.