Co-op Month has been celebrated annually in October across the United States for more than half a century. Each October, cooperative members reflect on the many benefits of cooperation and take the opportunity to educate others about the value of cooperative businesses. Catholic Rural Life is a long-time proponent of rural cooperatives. Here are some reasons why:
- Producer- and user-owned cooperatives are essential to the U.S. economy and to rural America, delivering supplies to farmers and ranchers and helping them market their products, supplying telecommunications and energy to rural communities, and providing financial and other important services.
- Cooperatives unite their member-owners, thus improving their bargaining power, increasing their marketing clout, and reducing costs based on volume purchasing of production supplies while adding value through pooled product marketing.
- Cooperatives fill market voids by providing high-quality services and products that otherwise may be unavailable.
- Member-owners manage their cooperatives through democratic governance processes, serving as a voice for their members on legislative issues and enhancing the viability of their communities by generating jobs.
Learn more about cooperatives at the Cooperative Network. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is celebrating National Co-op Month by hosting a series of webinars on various programs and projects that are supported through USDA Rural Development’s Cooperative Services.