Cooperatives: Rooted. Resilient. Ready.

The OSU CFAES Center for Cooperatives staff started off National Co-op Month with the pleasure of attending the NCBA Clusa  2023 Cooperative Impact Conference this past October in Washington D.C.

The theme this year was ‘Rooted, Resilient, Ready’ with hundreds of cooperators gathering to learn from one another, listen to presenters who are experts in their fields and speak to legislator about the cooperative difference.

Prior to the conference beginning, staff was able to attend the St. Mary’s University Cooperative Governance session. The morning was spent with more than 65 cooperators from all across the globe gathered at the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) headquarters to expand their cooperative knowledge pertaining to board governance, the cooperative model and research.

This three day educational conference spotlighted hot topics such as Artificial Intelligence and its place in cooperatives, engaging in worker cooperatives, and how to build the next generation of cooperators.

Rev. Dr. Heber M. Brown III, Founder and Executive Director Black Church Food Security Network, was a highlight of the session titled ‘Strategy to Build the Next Generation of Cooperators and Mutualists’  as he spoke on his work with black churches and helping create food banks and community gardens for their communities. Noting the grass roots effect can have a positive impact on members and engaging with the with others in the community. 

Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small, Deputy Secretary of United States Agriculture, was the keynote speaker addressing the positive effect that cooperatives can have on not only the local economy but its wide reach across the United States.


Cooperators were able to ‘Hike the Hill’  where they were able to play an integral role in educating policymakers in Washington, DC on the impact cooperatives have in our communities and regions.



Cooperatives have been around for centuries and rooted in the communities in which we live and serve. Being resilient is a key factor in the cooperative model and being able to adapt as the economy changes. As we look forward to the ever changing landscape and adapt, as cooperators we need to be ready to lead and change.


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