Grant Resources for Food Enterprises

A basket of vegetables, including carrots, onions, and beets. Food enterprises and organizations,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has multiple grant funding opportunities to develop or expand food system enterprises with the goals of increasing access to local or regionally produced foods and enhancing marketing opportunities for agricultural producers.

If you are interested in learning more or in developing an application, the CFAES Center for Cooperatives can assist with grant development and review. Please note that our staff do not write grants on behalf of projects. Contact us at scott.1220@osu.edu bauman.67@osu.edu.

Farmers Market Promotion Program

“FMPP funds projects that develop, coordinate, and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products.”

Eligible entities:  Agricultural businesses and cooperatives; Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) networks and associations; food councils; economic development corporations; local governments; nonprofit and public benefit corporations; producer networks or associations; regional farmers’ market authorities; tribal governments.

Deadline to apply: May 11, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time

For more information, click here. For the Request for Applications, click here. Learn more in this short video from USDA.

Local Food Promotion Program

“LFPP funds projects that develop, coordinate, and expand local and regional food business enterprises that engage as intermediaries in indirect producer to consumer marketing to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products.”

Eligible entities:  Agricultural businesses and cooperatives; Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) networks and associations; food councils; economic development corporations; local governments; nonprofit and public benefit corporations; producer networks or associations; regional farmers’ market authorities; tribal governments.

Deadline to apply: May 11, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time

For more information, click here. For the Request for Applications, click here. Learn more in this short video from USDA.

Regional Food System Partnerships

“The RFSP supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The RFSP focuses on building and strengthening local or regional food economy viability and resilience by alleviating unnecessary administrative and technical barriers for participating partners.”

Eligible partnerships must include at least one eligible entity and at least one eligible partner.

Eligible entities include: producers; producer networks or associations; farmers or rancher cooperatives; majority controlled producer-based business ventures; food councils; local or tribal governments; nonprofit corporations; economic development corporations; public benefit corporations; community supported agriculture networks or associations; regional farmers’ market authorities.

Eligible partners include: state agencies or regional authorities; philanthropic organizations; private corporations; institutions of higher education; Commercial, Federal, or Farm Credit System lending institutions.

Deadline to apply: May 11, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time

For more information, click here. For the Request for Applications, click here.

You can explore additional grant opportunities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service here and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture here.

Ohio State University and Mid America Cooperative Council explore alignment

The Center for Cooperatives at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the Mid America Cooperative Council (MACC) are exploring a potential arrangement for the Center for Cooperatives to provide educational and management services for MACC, which represents cooperative businesses in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan.

“The Mid America Cooperative Council is a multi-state, non-profit trade association that was founded in 2003 by a group of like-minded individuals with an understanding of the impact that cooperative principles have on the sustainability of co-ops,” said Rod Kelsay, the Executive Director of MACC, who expects to retire in the summer of 2020.  Ohio State and MACC are currently developing details of the arrangement and it is expected that the MACC Board of Directors will contract with the CFAES Center for Cooperatives to manage membership and conduct educational programs on its behalf.

“Our team at the CFAES Center for Cooperatives is excited about the opportunity to serve our region’s co-ops and to build the co-op community,” said Hannah Scott, Program Manager for the CFAES Center for Cooperatives.  At this point, Scott stressed that the proposed approach is aspirational and that many details must be further developed by both MACC and Ohio State.  However, after a recent meeting between the MACC Board of Directors and the CFAES Center for Cooperatives management team, Scott said, “I think we all believe that there can be mutual benefits to the MACC membership, the Center’s stakeholders, and the broader cooperative community under the proposed arrangement,” and that the work to bring this arrangement to fruition in the summer of 2020 is expected to continue.

Kelsay echoed those sentiments. “This opportunity brings access to additional educational resources, the breadth of The Ohio State University network, and additional capacity to provide important resources to MACC members, including access to future employees and co-op leaders,” Kelsay said.  “This will help MACC to further expand what has already been developed.”

Dr. Tom Worley, the Director of the Ohio State University South Centers, an agricultural research and Extension center near Piketon in south central Ohio, also serves as Director of the Center for Cooperatives.  Worley shared that the Center for Cooperatives staff will work to continue the mission of MACC and to share cooperative advantages across all co-op sectors with members, employees, and all who are vested in cooperative business.

Kelsay explained that all sectors of cooperatives were involved in establishing MACC in order to strengthen cooperatives through education. MACC educational programs range from introductory cooperative education for new cooperative employees to professional roundtable programs for financial professionals and leaders.

Dennis Bolling, retired CEO of United Producers, Inc., and longtime leader in the cooperative community in the Midwest and nationally, facilitated the exploration of the management agreement. “With the leadership supplied by the Center for Cooperatives, combined with the efforts of the MACC membership, the shared mission of education will be enhanced and have excellent potential for expansion,” said Bolling.

For questions, contact Tom Worley at 740-289-2071 ext. 113 or worley.36@osu.edu.

Youth Cooperative Leadership Experience

Preparing the next generation of scientists and leaders is a challenge upon which The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is laser-focused. One way in which the college is meeting this challenge is by introducing students to the many career opportunities in the agricultural industry. The OSU CFAES Center for Cooperatives recently conducted a pilot program, Youth Cooperative Leadership Experience, with Agriculture Business Management students from the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center in West Union, Ohio.  Whitney Hill, the Ohio Valley FFA student reporter, prepared an article about the Youth Cooperative Leadership Experience which was shared on the main cfaes.osu.edu website front page.

Read the Youth Cooperative Learning Experience article.

Contact Joy Bauman at the Center for Cooperatives if your business would like to sponsor the Youth Cooperative Leadership Experience in the future. 

Joy Bauman

bauman.67@osu.edu

740-289-2071 ext. 111

 

Job Posting: Program Coordinator for CFAES Center for Cooperatives

The CFAES Center for Cooperatives has a job posting online at jobsatosu.com/postings/95501 to fill the full-time Program Coordinator vacancy at the CFAES Center for Cooperatives headquarters at the OSU South Centers near Piketon, Ohio.  Interested applicants must apply online by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, June 16, 2019.

Program Coordinator Duties: The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Center for Cooperatives seeks a collaborative, organized, and goal-oriented individual to serve as program coordinator to support and coordinate the research, teaching, and Extension functions of the Center; the coordinator will facilitate the planning, organization, and delivery of a cooperative development program consisting of technical assistance to groups and businesses, training and education, and the transfer of cooperative development information to other organizations and states; the coordinator will be responsible for preparing and delivering educational programming on the cooperative business model and business development through a variety of methods and media, including planning, organizing and directing workshops, conferences, seminars, and short courses to inform and train prospective and current cooperative members, new and experienced cooperative managers, as well as employees and directors; program development may include preparing and monitoring program expenses; the coordinator will assist in the preparation of articles, proposals, reports, and educational materials for publication and act as a liaison to faculty and organizations inquiring about the Center and will disseminate program information and other materials (manuals, training aids, and technical papers) to foster rural cooperative development; the coordinator will contribute to the overall goals of the Center, which include developing new cooperatives, strengthening existing cooperatives, and educating the next generation of cooperative leaders; the coordinator will perform duties in close collaboration with the Centers staff as well as various partner units within and external to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, including the Centers stakeholder advisory committee, Ohio State University Extension, West Virginia University Extension Services, USDA Rural Development, and rural community and economic development organizations; the coordinator will communicate with the Centers Program Manager in administering programming and be responsible for reporting impacts and project updates to the Program Manager; this position will include travel and may include some evening and weekend work as well as overnight travel with potential flexibility for remote work.

Required Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in business, business education, agriculture, economics, sociology, or related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience; strong verbal, written and electronic communication skills; demonstrated coordination skills; experience developing and administering educational programming such as webinars, seminars, or conferences; experience in the development and organization of program materials; demonstrated ability to work in a team atmosphere; willingness to work with diverse audiences.

 

 

Scott elected to board for Association of Cooperative Educators

CFAES Center for Cooperatives Program Manager, Hannah Scott was recently elected to the Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE) Board of Directors.  ACE is an international organization providing members a forum to highlight programs and practices that increase understanding, in cooperative education and the cooperative movement by promoting cooperative research and ovation, and professionalism in cooperative education. The organization benefits developing linkages between universities, cooperatives, and supporting organizations. The group works to strengthen cooperatives, build capacity and support the development of innovation and acumen in cooperatives, spreading the word about cooperatives by providing resources on cooperative education.  Founded in 1965, the Association of Cooperative Educators was formed as a professional association for educators of co-ops.

In addition to holding an annual conference and providing cooperative education, ACE annually presents three awards recognizing extraordinary work in co-op education, the Award of Merit, the Organization Award recognizing a cooperative that raised the bar in education, and a Youth Award.  The awards recognize mentorship, innovation, and promotion of democratic practices, acknowledging ways educators pass along cooperative values.  Hannah will serve on the ACE Board of Directors for a three-year term.

Buy Co-op Mastery Workbooks Online

Looking for the perfect holiday gift?

Look no further!

The Co-op Mastery workbook complements Co-op Mastery: Beyond Cooperatives 101, a free online training from the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Center for Cooperatives, available at www.go.osu.edu/coopmastery.

Co-op members, directors, managers, employees, and students of cooperatives can use the workbook individually as a self-paced tool, or as a guided activity to learn about the cooperative business model.

The 48-page workbook enhances learning with activities and examples in cooperative principles, governance, legal considerations, taxation, finance, and formation​ planning.

Co-op Mastery workbooks, $13 hard copy, $8 PDF, available at the Extension Publications website.

U.S. Ag Co-op Trends: Numbers declining, business volume increasing

Dr. Iryna Demko, formerly an agribusiness researcher with the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) at Ohio State University, has released a report on research she conducted while at OSU about trends of U.S. agricultural cooperatives, showing how the number of agricultural cooperatives in the U.S. has declined while cooperative business volume and number of members has increased.  Dr. Demko currently is a research associate at the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University. Dr. Demko’s full report, Trends of U.S. Agricultural Cooperatives: 1913 to 2016,” has been published by the Center for Cooperatives and is now available for viewing on the Center’s webpage.

Latest World Cooperative Monitor report available

The latest edition of the World Cooperative Monitor report on the world’s largest cooperative and mutual organizations has been released, providing rankings of the Top 300 and sector analysis based on 2016 financial data. This report has a new feature: an analysis of the Top 300 and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), taking a look at how the largest cooperative enterprises and mutual in the world are moving toward achieving the SDGs. There are many examples of cooperative development of projects to ensure fair labor, protect the environment, and more to meet the SDGs.