Ohio Agribusiness Community to Benefit from New CFAES Center for Cooperatives

(Shared by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Ohio Agribusiness Community to Benefit from New CFAES Center for Cooperatives
Published on October 26, 2017
Matthew Marx
Hannah Scott
740-289-2071 x227
Shared from osu cfaesnews listserve email

Alissa Armstrong of FLM+ (left) and Janice Welsheimer of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association were among the 40 guests celebrating the new CFAES Center for Cooperatives at an Oct. 18 reception in Columbus.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s agribusiness community, agricultural cooperatives and students in The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will have greater access to research, educational opportunities and technical expertise through a new, college-wide Center for Cooperatives.

The center, with staff based at CFAES’s Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon, will have a faculty presence on the Columbus campus. It will integrate the college’s current activities and operations that support cooperative business development, will engage directly with long-established cooperatives, and will provide education both in the classroom and through CFAES’s Ohio State University Extension program and other outreach activities.

“The CFAES Center for Cooperatives is expected to be comprehensive and bring together all three mission areas of the college — teaching, research and Extension,” OSU South Centers Director Tom Worley said. “We are pleased to be well positioned to serve the cooperatives community in Ohio through the combined faculty and staff resources of the center.”

Worley will oversee the center, with Ani Katchova, associate professor and farm income enhancement chair in CFAES, leading its research programs. Hannah Scott, program manager at the South Centers, will lead the new center’s Extension and outreach activities.

Programming for the center will occur within all major CFAES mission areas with a goal of extending knowledge to emerging and established agricultural cooperatives in Ohio and supporting rural economic development. The center will also provide future agricultural professionals with interdisciplinary training and research opportunities.

About 40 guests including CFAES faculty, cooperative leaders, and state and federal government representatives attended a reception celebrating the new center Oct. 18 in Columbus. In addition, Debbie Rausch from the Ohio office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program announced that CFAES has been awarded a Rural Cooperative Development Grant totaling nearly $200,000 to improve rural areas of Ohio and West Virginia through the development of cooperatives and other mutually owned businesses.

October is National Cooperative Month.

NCB Co-op 100 list of the largest cooperatives in the U.S.

(Shared by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

The NCB Co-op 100 Reports Top Producing Cooperatives with Revenues of $208 Billion
Oct. 3, 2017, 01:12 PM

Arlington, VA, Oct. 03, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Arlington, VA (October 3, 2017) — National Cooperative Bank, known for providing banking solutions tailored to meet the needs of cooperatives nationwide, released its annual NCB Co-op 100®, listing the nation’s top 100 revenue-earning cooperative businesses. In 2016, these businesses posted revenue totaling approximately $208 billion. The NCB Co-op 100® remains the only annual report of its kind to track the profits and successes of cooperative businesses in the United States.

“The economic impact of cooperatives is critical to our economy”, stated Charles E. Snyder, President and CEO of National Cooperative Bank. “Cooperatives can be seen in just about every industry across America, including local food, finance, housing and energy. Whether its brining fresh local food through a food co-op or affordable homeownership through a housing cooperative, cooperatives help strengthen communities.”

This year’s theme for Co-op Month is “Cooperatives Commit.” In addition to ranking the top 100 co-ops by revenue, the report also highlights the many ways co-ops commit to their members, sustainability, education, impact, kindness and their community.

The following are the top revenue producers in 2016 for the NCB Co-op 100’s main sectors:

•CHS Inc., based in Saint Paul, Minnesota reported $30.3 billion in revenues in 2016 and maintained its first place position on the NCB Co-op 100 list.
•Dairy Farmers of America, based in Kansas City, Missouri, reported $13.5 billion in revenues, earning the number two ranking this year.

•Wakefern Food Corporation/ Shoprite, based in Keasbey, New Jersey reported $12.8 billion in revenue, earning the fourth ranking this year.
•Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., based in Kansas City, Kansas reported revenue of $9.2 billion and earned the fifth position on the list.

Hardware & Lumber:
•ACE Hardware, based in Oak Brook, Illinois earned $5.1 billion in revenue and came in at number nine on the list.
•Do-it-Best Corp., located in Fort Wayne, Indiana earned the 12th place on the list, with $3.0 billion reported in revenue.

•Navy Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Merrifield, Virginia, earned $5.4 billion in revenues and is number eight on the list.
•CoBank headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado earned $2.8 billion and came in 14th on the list.

•HealthPartners, Inc., located in Bloomington, Minnesota earned $6.0 billion in revenue and is seventh on the list.

Energy & Communications:
•Basin Electric Power Cooperative, located in Bismarck, North Dakota earned the 18th position with a reported $2.0 billion in revenue in 2016.
•Oglethorpe Power Corporation, located in Tucker, Georgia earned the 27th position with reported revenue of $1.5 billion in 2016.

While the companies and rankings change each year, the cooperative sector continues to advance, playing an increasingly influential role in the national and global economy. Released annually in October during National Co-op Month, the NCB Co-op 100® is just one way the Bank strives to educate and promote the importance of this sector.

Read more …

OCDC cooperative client spotlight: Preston County Growers Co-op

(Shared by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Published on September 21, 2017
In Preston County, West Virginia, five farmers came together to form a cooperative to access new markets created by Farm to School programs that bring farm fresh food into school cafeterias.

OCDC client, the Preston County Growers Co-op! It also includes our friend from WVU, Tom McConnell. The video was featured at Farm Aid this year.

Worker bees create buzz at BreadHive

(Shared by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

GUSTO | By Mark Sommer | Published August 23, 2017 | Updated August 23, 2017

The question is heard often at BreadHive Bakery & Cafe.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked, ‘How do I talk to a manager?’ ” said Emily Stewart, who founded BreadHive with Allison Ewing. “But there’s not one, there’s six, and people change when they realize they’re talking to an owner.

“It’s usually followed by, ‘How old are you?’ ”

BreadHive is a worker cooperative-owned business. It began as a wholesale distributor in a storefront in April 2015 on the West Side at 123 Baynes St. A cafe followed in June 2016 at 402 Connecticut St.

Read more…

How REI’s Co-op Retail Model Helps Its Bottom Line

(Shared by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Managing a cooperative is different. In the co-op model, managers work with a board elected from and by the membership and they manage a business for the benefit of their members, among other unique characteristics. Check out the article linked here from The Atlantic to learn about how the co-op model makes REI different.

How REI’s Co-op Retail Model Helps Its Bottom Line
An interview with the company’s CEO, Jerry Stritzke
David McNew / Reuters
March 21, 2017

Cooperative Models for Meat Marketing

(Shared by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

According to recent research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, over 165,000 farms in the U.S. sold food by direct marketing in 2015. These efforts resulted in approximately $8.7 billion in sales of various products, including beef, poultry, pork, and more. Direct sales of meat represented a large number of farms – in fact, more farms sold beef than any other single product reported.

Direct marketing of meat, through outlets like farm markets, restaurants, and institutions, include a number of challenges for producers. According to focus groups with beef producers in Tennessee, these challenges include large investments of time building clientele and relationships with buyers, issues with logistics like freezer space and delivering product, seasonality or unpredictability of sales volumes, obtaining correct licensing and certifications, and challenges selling the ‘whole hog’ rather than only a few premium cuts, among others.

Cooperatives, which are owned and controlled by user-members who split benefits amongst themselves equitably, may offer some unique ways of facing the challenges with directly marketing meat.

The Buckeye Valley Beef Cooperative was formed in southern Ohio as a marketing cooperative for beef producers in a rural area. The individual members of the co-op came together to work with small grocery stores – a market that presented a challenge for individual producers to service. By coordinating and aggregating supply, the producers were able to create a larger and more consistent volume of product for the grocery store shelves.

In New York state, the Adirondack Grazers Cooperative and the Side Hill Farmers Co-op took two different approaches to developing markets for meat producers. The Adirondack Grazers Cooperative was formed for small beef producer members to market meat in nearby urban centers, including through an online grocer. The co-op aggregates member products to meet the needs of these existing markets while also allowing members to share transportation. The co-op has also increased access to a meat processing and reduced processing expenses for members. The Side Hill Farmers Co-op created their own market to sell locally produced meats with a focus on whole animal utilization in a small retail store. The craft butcher shop sells beef, pork, lamb and poultry, including aged, cured, and prepared foods.

In some instances, access to processing is a major hurdle for meat producers. The Island Grown Farmers Co-op in the Pacific Northwest came together in the early 2000’s to address just that problem. The group, along with help from a local development organization, started a mobile processing unit that travels to members’ farms to slaughter their cattle, hogs, lambs, bison, and goats. The co-op further processes the meat while the producers are responsible for marketing. The 50-mile radius covered by the co-op included about 60 members in 2015 who work together to schedule the unit in a way that ensures it is adequately utilized.

Inside the cooperative board room: Seeking procedural excellence

(Shared by Hannah Scott, Manager, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Posted February 28, 2017
Michigan State University Extension
by Mark Thomas, Michigan State University Extension

Cooperative boards of directors are ultimately responsible for their own financial health. Success can be achieved by understanding the co-op’s mission and respectful discussion at the board level within an agreed upon frame work.

Cooperative (co-op) boards have responsibilities beyond linking with their members, reviewing policies annually, assuring compliance with stated policies and goals, and dreaming of how the future of the co-op will be formalized and realized. Read more