Get Ready for Co-Op Month- Celebrate the History!

You may be aware that Co-Op Month is celebrated in October, but are you aware of some of the history behind the holiday? Several states across the United States began celebrating the holiday in the mid-1930’s, but it wasn’t until Minnesota declared the month ‘official,’ with a proclamation in 1948, that Co-Op Month was designated in that state.  It would take 16 years to gain national recognition, but in 1964 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Orville Freeman, also a former Minnesota governor, proclaimed October Co-op Month for the entire country.  The first theme of the national celebration of Co-op Month was “Cooperatives: USDA Helps Build a Better America.”

Since that time, co-ops have been excitedly celebrating Co-Op Month each October across the country working together to build, grow and be more resilient in their respective communities.  Many also use it as an opportunity to tell their stories and share the collective impact co-ops have throughout the country.

According to the Cooperative Network, “It is a time for cooperative businesses to reflect on their shared principles and to educate others about the value of belonging to a cooperative.”  Today, we continue to celebrate the over 40,000 cooperatives, that provide more than $25 billion in wages in the United States alone.  It is also estimated that there are 350 million members of cooperatives nationwide, including those members that belong to more than one cooperative.

According to a 2021 report from the USDA, “the largest number of farmer cooperatives are in Minnesota, followed by Texas, North Dakota, California and Wisconsin.  Farm cooperatives did the most business in Iowa ($18.3 billion) followed by Minnesota ($16.2 billion), California, Illinois and Wisconsin.”

This year’s theme, ‘Co-Ops Build Economic Power’ brings to light the power of cooperative business to strengthen the economy.  According to the National Cooperative Business Association, “As businesses face inflation and supply chain challenges, cooperatives provide stability and opportunity. As employees question their role in the economy, cooperatives are creating dignified, empowering jobs with paths to ownership and wealth-building. As communities tire of rhetoric, cooperatives are creating the meaningful diversity and equity at the heart of an inclusive economy.”

Here at The Ohio State University South Centers, Center for Cooperatives, we plan to celebrate Co-Op Month all October long with informative articles and podcasts, information from our partners and much more.  Be sure and follow our Facebook page, as well as our Twitter account so you don’t miss out on how we celebrate!

Developing your Business’s Social Media Marketing Strategy

In a 2017 survey of over 3,000 consumers in the U.S., Germany, Colombia, and Mexico, 35% of people reported they go to social media for information when they’re considering buying something and want to research options. That figure was closer to 50% for consumers aged 18-34.

As small businesses and entrepreneurs consider how they will market their products, social media can offer numerous potential benefits – from helping build brand awareness, to offering a way of reaching large audiences in a cost effective way, and driving traffic to a business’s website, among many other opportunities.

An individual working at a computer.

Developing a Social Media Strategy

Consider these four questions from a 2020 Harvard Business Review article as you develop your social media strategy:

  1. “What are your goals?”

Are you trying to expand to a new geography? Launch a new product? Increase sales? Whatever the answer, your strategy should be tailored to fit your goals, so start out by identifying those goals. Remember to ensure your goals are SMART – specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timed.

  1. “Which platforms should you use?”

Different social media platforms have different formats, business tools, and more. For example, Facebook has useful business tools like detailed analytics and allows businesses to incorporate lots of information like contact details and hours of operation. Meanwhile, Pinterest and Instagram are highly visual platforms with focus on photo and video content; categories like food and DIY projects are some of Pinterest’s most popular categories. Check out the “Social media platforms for businesses” section of this recent article from Business News Daily to learn about the different business tools and formats of major social media platforms.

  1. “What is your content strategy?”

Will you use pictures? Video? To develop effective digital marketing for a small business, entrepreneurs will need to consider the type of content that is right for them based on their target customers, their resources, and more. Authors writing for the Harvard Business Review counsel, “Your content should be unique, useful, and shareable.”

  1. “Are you ready to talk with your audience – in real time?”

Social media platforms offer opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers and it is important for businesses to relate to and interact with customers on social platforms. As one author shared tips for businesses using social media, “Create a consistent voice and tone . . . one that resonates with your audience and influences how they see your brand.” If you’re using social media for customer service functions, consider that 42% of consumers expect a business to respond to complaints raised via social media within 60 minutes.

Upcoming “Foodpreneur School” to Focus on Social Media Marketing for Food & Farm Entrepreneurs

If you’re a food and farm entrepreneur ready to learn more about using social media marketing, join us in Hillsboro, Ohio on Tuesday, October 25, 2022! Foodpreneur School is an educational program for food and farm entrepreneurs who are ready to grow through enhanced sales and marketing. Speakers at the October 25 session will include experts from Ohio State University sharing the ins-and-outs of social media marketing for small business and insights on creating impactful video content for marketing. The session will include hands-on learning opportunities and entrepreneurs are encouraged to bring along their preferred devices (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) for managing their social media presence. Learn more about the session and sign up for no-cost online!

If you require an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in this event, please contact Samantha Black at black.1156@osu.edu or 614-247-9705. Requests made two weeks in advance, will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visitcfaesdiversity.osu.edu.

CFAES Center for Cooperatives is Hiring a Cooperative Development Program Specialist!  

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Center for Cooperatives seeks a collaborative, organized, and goal-oriented individual to serve as a cooperative development specialist and to contribute to the applied research, teaching, and Extension functions of the Center.

Learn more about the position and apply online!

 

For questions, please contact Hannah Scott at scott.1220@osu.edu or Beth Rigsby at rigsby.22@osu.edu.

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer.

Two hands holding up a sign that reads, "We are hiring!"

Cooperative “Difference” Creates Opportunity for Shared Management Approach

Chris Sigurdson has worked in the dairy and beef industries for over 30 years. Today, he jokes that he has more than 20 bosses, literally. Sigurdson is the general manager/CEO of both COBA/Select Sires Inc. and Minnesota Select Sires Co-op, Inc. In late 2021, Sigurdson began leading the two farmer-owned cooperatives in a shared role meant to help the companies boost members’ value and continue meeting the changing needs of dairy and beef producers across the United States  and in Mexico.

Context Lays Groundwork for Shared Management Approach

As bovine genetics companies, Minnesota Select Sires Co-op, Inc., and COBA/Select Sires Inc. have faced evolving marketplaces in their decades of operation, including substantial consolidation of dairy farms, technological and genetic innovations, and increases in operating costs. In particular, changes in the dairy industry have had important impacts on the two cooperatives –  a high proportion of production dairies in the United States use artificial insemination for breeding.

COBA/Select Sires Inc. and Minnesota/Select Sires Co-op, Inc. are both members of the federated cooperative, Select Sires, Inc. headquartered in Plain City, Ohio, and owned by six farmer-owned cooperatives. In 2021, Select Sires, Inc. members considered a proposal to unify the federation into a single cooperative that did not ultimately move forward. However, having a shared background as members in a cooperative federation, being similarly structured as farmer-owned cooperatives, sharing a desire to continue serving farmer-owners, and with COBA/Select Sires planning for the retirement of their general manager, the two boards decided to move forward with a shared general manager/CEO position in late 2021. COBA/Select Sires, Inc. is governed by a 15-member board, while Minnesota Select Sires Co-op, Inc. is governed by a nine-member board.

Shared Resource Opportunities May Create Efficiencies

COBA/Select Sires serves farmers in Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Mexico, and portions of Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, while Minnesota/Select Sires’ service territory includes Minnesota and North Dakota. The two companies have a combined portfolio of $53 million in business and more than 170 employees. In addition to his own leadership position, Sigurdson cites shared resource opportunities like leveraging marketing communications across companies, creating career pipelines and potential connections to new talent, and potential operational opportunities in shipping, storage, and business systems, among others, that might help the two cooperatives reach their goal of effectively serving farmer-members while lowering expenses per unit sold.

Multiple blue gears with various business related graphics inside, such as a light bulb, people, and target.

Sigurdson Shares Approach at Online Cooperative Roundtable

Sigurdson spoke about the reasons for the shared management approach, his role, and opportunities for additional resource sharing among the two companies to cooperative stakeholders during a recent online “Cooperative Roundtable” hosted by the CFAES Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State in partnership with the Mid America Cooperative Council (MACC).

Cooperative Roundtables are online learning opportunities hosted by the CFAES Center for Cooperatives and MACC as opportunities to learn from industry experts about current issues facing the cooperative community. Past roundtable topics have included strategic talent planning, cybersecurity in agribusiness, and recognizing diversity and inclusion among co-op members, among other topics. Sign up for the CFAES Center for Cooperatives email list to receive information about future Cooperative Roundtables.

Are you a small business using online marketing? Learn about legal basics of branding and marketing in our digital world!

Did you know that internet users spend an average of almost three hours per day on the internet? Three hours! In explaining why digital marketing should be a priority for small businesses, one author shared, “even if you are not selling your product or service online, then you likely could still count yon your target audience being on the internet at some point during any given day.” As people spend significant amounts of time online and social media platforms offer numerous opportunities for small businesses as they market their products and services, like the ability to connect with huge audiences for little or no cost, it should be no surprise that an estimated 91% of small businesses allocated resources to digital marketing in 2021.

Graphic of marketing images, including retail storefront, smartphone, online application, and computer.

But have you ever considered the potential legal implications of your online marketing? For example, a 2016 fact sheet, “The Legal Implications of Social Media Marketing & Advertising,” shared the following potential legal considerations for businesses using social media:

  • Social media posts could be considered ‘corporate speech’ and be used against companies in lawsuits, for example in false advertising and other claims. (This is one reason it is important for businesses to identify authorized users and develop written policies about how social media accounts are used or maintained.)
  • Social media activities may be subject to regulatory laws and agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, National Labor Relations Act, and the Food & Drug Administration
  • Issues around content ownership can have important impacts – for example, businesses need permission to use content generated by other users, including content that includes their products or incorporates their brands.
  • Digital marketing spaces create considerations around the use, protection, and monitoring of intellectual property like trademarks and copyrights.

“Legal Basics of Branding and Marketing: What to know in a digital world” seminar to be held in Piketon, Ohio

Entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the legal basics of branding and marketing can attend a free education session in Piketon, Ohio on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. The session is one of three educational presentations by legal professionals as part of the event, “Building Legally Resilient Small Businesses: Quick Advice Legal Clinic for Entrepreneurs,” which will be co-hosted by the Entrepreneurial Business Law Clinic at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law and partner business development programs at the OSU South Centers. During the evening program on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, entrepreneurs can participate in one or all three free public education sessions on common legal issues for small businesses. There is no cost to participate in the program, but registration is required.

6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – “Legal Basics of Branding and Marketing: What to know in a digital world,” taught by Patrick Perkins, OSU Moritz College of Law

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – “Legal Structures for Small Business,” taught by Paige Wilson, OSU Moritz College of Law

7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – “Working with Independent Contractors,” taught by Jacqueline Radebaugh, Jason Wiener p.c.

Entrepreneurs can also sign up for no-cost, one-on-one consultations with volunteer attorneys to explore their legal questions and receive guidance in areas like business structures, employment, contracts, marketing and advertising, worker and other cooperatives, commercial real estate, and more. Sessions will last up to 30 minutes and participants can register for up to two sessions. Entrepreneurs interested in a one-on-one appointment will be asked to submit basic information about their legal question so staff members can try to match participants with a volunteer attorney whose practice area most closely matches their legal question. Please note, space is limited.

Event Details: August 17, 2022, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

LOCATION: OSU South Centers Endeavor Center

1862 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio 45661

COST: No cost to attend, but registration is required.

Register by visiting go.osu.edu/legalclinic

Questions? Reach out to Hannah Scott at scott.1220@osu.edu or 614-247-9705.

If you require an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in this event, please contact Samantha Black at black.1156@osu.edu or 614-247-9705. Requests made by August 3, 2022, will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visitcfaesdiversity.osu.edu.

Join Peer Learning Sessions to Grow the Cooperative Ecosystem in Appalachia

Each month the CFAES Center for Cooperatives team hosts Zoom “peer networking calls” as part of the Appalachia Cooperates Initiative. If you’re a community, business, or economic developer, or simply have an interest in supporting cooperative development, you’re invited to join the sessions. Read on to learn more about the Appalachia Cooperates Initiative and peer networking calls and register for calls on Friday, August 19, 2022 from 1 p.m.- 2 p.m. Eastern and Friday, September 16, 2022 from 1 p.m.- 2 p.m. Eastern.

A view of mountains and blue sky backdrop of a green meadow in Moorfield, West Virginia area.

Appalachia has a diverse and long-established cooperative community. For example, Casa Nueva, has been operating as worker-owned cooperative restaurant in uptown Athens since the mid-1980’s (check out this ‘virtual tour’ of Casa Nueva as part of the Youth Cooperative Leadership Experience online platform) while Unity Café is a newer worker-owned café and eatery in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Cooperatives are providing vital services to their communities across Appalachia. Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative provides electricity to over 18,000 consumer member-owners in Southeast Ohio and has since the late 1930’s. Today, some communities in Appalachia are leveraging the cooperative model to bring broadband to their rural areas – a topic we explored in the 2021 webinar, “Cooperating for Connectivity: An Appalachian Broadband Webinar” hosted by the CFAES Center for Cooperatives. To learn more about Central Appalachia’s cooperative community, check out “Exploring Appalachia’s Cooperative Economy,” a webinar where experts from our Center explored the region’s cooperative foundations and modern co-op efforts.

An Ecosystem Approach to Co-op Development

Since 2019, the CFAES Center for Cooperatives has led the Appalachia Cooperates Initiative (ACI), a learning network connecting cooperative, community, business, and economic developers and advocates in Central Appalachia. The goal of the ACI is to contribute to the development of a thriving co-op ecosystem in Central Appalachia by building awareness of the co-op model, equipping practitioners with knowledge and skills, and facilitating a connected network of co-op and community developers. The initiative was born out of collaborative dialogue of partners in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

In a 2016 report, lead authors Hillary Abell and Melissa Hoover advocated for an ecosystem approach to building worker cooperative communities, pointing out elements in thriving cooperative ecosystems like access to quality and affordable technical assistance providers and cooperative developers, business advisory services and industry peer networks, cooperative awareness, and integration of cooperatives into entrepreneurship education. Learn more in the report, “The Cooperative Growth Ecosystem: Inclusive Economic Development in Action.”

Learning and Peer Networking Opportunities

As part of the ACI, our team at the CFAES Center for Cooperatives has hosted learning sessions like community workshops, film screenings, and educational webinars where experts and developers from across the region have shared their knowledge on topics like the Mondragon cooperative model, conversion of existing businesses to cooperatives, and more. You can find recordings of selected past ACI learning sessions and learn how to sign up for emails to receive details about future events on our Center’s website.

Graphics of people connected in network graph styleIn 2020, we started hosting monthly Zoom sessions for community, business, economic and other developers interested in the co-op business model. The idea was to build connections among people spread across a wide geography, and potentially working in distinct spaces. Each month, our team hosts a Zoom meeting where practitioners from across the region gather as their schedules allow in an informal but dedicated space.

All participants are encouraged to share updates, ask questions, and engage with the group. Peers can meet one another, share their current projects or expertise, ask for resources, or best practices, and identify opportunities for potential collaboration.

Those who are interested can register for sessions as their schedules allow. Registration details for upcoming calls in August and September 2022 are below. To receive emails with details of future ACI events and peer networking calls, sign up for the Center’s email list here. There is no cost to attend, and sessions will NOT be recorded.

Upcoming ACI Peer Learning Calls

Friday, August 19, 2022, 1-2 p.m. (EST)

To register for this event, click here.

Friday, September 16, 2022, 1-2 p.m. (EST)

To register for this event, click here.

Cooperative Learning Opportunity: Join the Mid America Cooperative Council 2022 Annual Meeting

Cooperatives, like all businesses and organizations, are facing a unique time of change. A 2021 report exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a segment of cooperatives in Ohio highlighted supply chain challenges, changes in governance, and accelerated adoption of digital technologies as some of the impacts of the pandemic. On April 28th, the Mid America Cooperative Council (MACC), in partnership with the CFAES Center for Cooperatives, will host three nationally recognized speakers who will examine current trends in the cooperative community and “ways to implement small practical disciplines to improve your work life,” as part of MACC’s 2022 Annual Meeting.

Meet the Speakers

The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) works to advance the “interests of America’s cooperatives and other farmer-owned enterprises.” President and CEO Chuck Connor has led the organization since 2009. With members across the United States, Mr. Connor will share current trends in the farmer cooperative landscape from a national perspective. Learn more about NCFC here.

Financial planning is an important part of the way cooperatives plan for their future. Dr. Phil Kenkel will share current trends in cooperative equity management at MACC’s upcoming annual meeting. Dr. Kenkel is Regents Professor of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University and an expert in the cooperative business model, having taught courses in agricultural cooperatives, published scholarly works on cooperative finance, risk analysis, strategic planning, and more, and conducted trainings for producer-owned businesses across the globe. Learn more about Dr. Kenkel and his work here.

As businesses and organizations experience the impacts of the “Great Resignation” and think about and craft post-pandemic workplaces, it seems like changes in the workplace are top of mind across the economy. Dr. Theresa Glomb is a professor in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Her research, which has included field research in dozens of companies and been published in top psychology and management journals, focuses on worker well-being. Dr. Glomb will present, “Let’s Make Work Better: Evidence Based Practices for Improving Your Work Life,” where she will share “ways to implement small, practical disciplines to improve your work life.” Learn more about Dr. Glomb and her work here.

Register for the Learning Opportunity

The MACC Annual Meeting will take place via Zoom on April 28, 2022 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Eastern. There is no cost to participate, and non-members of MACC are welcome to engage in the learning opportunity. The 2022 MACC Annual Business Meeting will begin at approximately 11:30 a.m. Eastern; only MACC members are eligible to vote during the annual meeting.

Register at go.osu.edu/maccmeeting.

 

What is the Mid America Cooperative Council?

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State provides management services to the Mid America Cooperative Council, a non-profit association of cooperatives, co-op support organizations, and individuals supportive of MACC’s mission to promote, foster, and enhance the values of cooperatives! Learn more at macc.coop.

Building a Community Economy: Exploring Worker Co-ops as a Succession Strategy

Four workers "bump fists" over an office table with various notebooks, tablets, calculators, and other items.Generational changes are often a topic in popular culture. Think about the many popular press articles about changes in home buying, workplace culture, and more. Another important generational change is happening in the small business world. Baby boomers are estimated to own almost half of privately held businesses in the United States.[1] An article from the U.S. Small Business Administration cites that about 70% of privately owned businesses are expected to change ownership in the next 10-15 years, a change that “will represent the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in U.S. history.”[2] In Ohio, 54% of private businesses, an estimated 94,000 firms employing approximately 2.6 million people, are owned by baby boomers[3], generally defined as those born between 1946 and 1964 who are currently reaching retirement age[4].

Business Succession Strategies and Worker Co-ops

As small business owners plan for retirement or other transition scenarios, they might consider passing the business to a family member, selling to a co-owner or key employee, selling to an outside buyer, or other options.[5] The cooperative model may be able to play a role in these transitions. Worker cooperatives are businesses where worker-members own most of the equity and control the voting shares of the business, while participating in profit sharing, oversight, and sometimes, management, using democratic practices.[6]

A 2021 report authored by experts at the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University discussed the potential for worker cooperatives and other employee-owned structures to be viable options for business transitions while helping to retain jobs, build worker wealth, and reduce economic inequality.[7] Watch a recording of a webinar hosted by the CFAES Center for Cooperatives with report co-author Michael Palmieri about the research on the potential benefits of employee ownership.

Worker Co-ops Across the Country and in Ohio

In a 2022 report, the Democracy at Work Institute estimated that there are 612 worker cooperatives or similar democratic workplaces employing just under 6,000 workers across the United States. Ohio has an estimated 20 worker co-op firms, ranking it 9th among U.S. states and territories. These businesses tend to be small, with a median firm size of six workers. Approximately 12% of these businesses originated as ownership transitions.[8]

What Makes A Business a Good Candidate for Potential Transition to a Worker Cooperative?

After studying 12 cases of existing businesses converting to worker cooperatives, authors Alison Lingane and Shannon Rieger[9] identified common motivators for business conversions to worker co-ops. Succession for an exiting owner was one motivator, in addition to goals of building wealth for employees, supporting the business’ mission, and as a way to tap into the strengths of employee-owned models. Based on real-world cases, Lingane and Rieger developed a set of business “readiness factors” for conversion to worker-ownership, including:

  • A commitment to the worker co-op model by the transitioning owner and employees
  • The business being in a strong and sustainable financial position
  • A culture of participation and transparency within the business
  • A program or emphasis on training, advising, and support for both employees and transitioning owners
  • Financing strategies that create a viable path for the conversion
  • Engagement by the transitioning owner throughout the conversion process
  • Phasing the conversion process in stages to lower risk and decrease the cost of capital
  • Securing a third-party financial valuation for the business before agreeing on a price

Some of these factors were identified as “prerequisites” to worker cooperative conversions, while others were identified as important for developing during the conversation process or even simply as helpful for the success of the conversion.

Learn More at Upcoming Free Webinar on March 30

Join the CFAES Center for Cooperatives and guest speaker, Ellen Vera, Director of Development and Co-op Organizing for Co-op Cincy, for a free online webinar on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 from 3-4 p.m. Eastern to learn more about worker and community owned cooperative models, including learning from Co-op Cincy’s decade of experience organizing worker co-ops, including a recent focus on conversions from existing businesses to worker co-ops.

Register by visiting: go.osu.edu/BCE

 

This event will be presented with automated closed captions. If you wish to request traditional CART services or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Scott at scott.1220@osu.edu or 740-289-2071. Requests made by March 20, 2022 will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.

 

References

[1] Palmieri, M. & Cooper, C. (2021). Building Legacies: Retaining Jobs and Creating Wealth Through Worker Ownership. Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University. Retrieved from https://www.oeockent.org/the-ohio-worker-ownership-network

[2] Giltner, E. (n.d.). Business Succession Planning. U.S. Small Business Administration. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/content/business-succession-planning

[3] Palmieri, M. & Cooper, C. (2021).

[4] “Baby Boomer,” (2021). Investopedia. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/baby_boomer.asp

[5] Newcomer-Dyer, R. (2019). “Business Succession Planning: 5 Ways to Transfer Ownership Of Your Business.” Fit Small Business. Retrieved from https://fitsmallbusiness.com/business-succession-planning/

[6] Hoover, M. & Abell, H. (2016) “The Cooperative Growth Ecosysem: Inclusive Economic Development in Action.” Project Equity & Democracy at Work Institute. Retrieved from https://institute.coop/resources/cooperative-growth-ecosystem-inclusive-economic-development-action

[7] Palmieri, M. & Cooper, C. (2021).

[8] “2021 State of the Sector: Worker Cooperatives in the U.S.” (2022). Democracy at Work Institute. Retrieved from https://institute.coop/resources/2021-worker-cooperative-state-sector-report.

[9] Lingane, A. & Rieger, S. (2015). “Case Studies: Business Conversions to Worker Cooperatives: Insights and Readiness Factors for Owners and Employees.” Project Equity. Retrieved from https://www.project-equity.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Case-Studies_Business-Conversions-to-Worker-Cooperatives_ProjectEquity.pdf

The CFAES Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State is Hiring a Cooperative Development Program Specialist!  

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Center for Cooperatives seeks a collaborative, organized, and goal-oriented individual to serve as a cooperative development specialist and to contribute to the applied research, teaching, and Extension functions of the Center.

 

Learn more about the position and apply online!

For questions, please contact Hannah Scott at scott.1220@osu.edu or Beth Rigsby at rigsby.22@osu.edu.

 

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer.

CFAES Center for Cooperatives session at WV Small Farm Conference

The CFAES Center for Cooperatives staff will be leading a session on Friday, February 25 during the 18th annual West Virginia Small Farm Conference being hosted online by the West Virginia University Extension Service. The FREE virtual conference is being held February 21-26. The WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center felt strongly that the event should be free this year due to the economic situations that individuals may be facing due to the continued pandemic.

The Center for Cooperatives session, Cooperative Solutions for Farmers and Rural Communities, will be at 11 a.m. Friday, February 25 and focus on how farmers and communities can come together to develop solutions using the cooperative business model to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs. “Participants in our session will learn about ways cooperatives can benefit rural communities and see actual examples of cooperation in rural communities,” said Joy Bauman, Cooperative Program Specialist.

Through the conference, WVU Extension aims to support West Virginia’s 23,000 small farm families and and further develop West Virginia’s food system and local communities by encouraging local production, processing, wholesale and retail marketing, and consumption. Conference participants will have opportunities to engage in a wide variety of session topics throughout the weeklong conference, ranging from meat and specialty crop production and marketing, to high tunnels, agritourism, forest farming, and more. Check out the full conference schedule to find what you are interested in.

Anyone can register for the WV Small Farm Conference via the Extension Service Online Learning System. Log in to the system and enroll in the 2022 West Virginia Small Farm Conference. Then register for the conference.

To learn more about how to register, watch this video recording on YouTube.