February 19, 2020

Contact: Hannah Packman, 202-554-1600

WASHINGTON –National Farmers Union (NFU) hosted 75 students in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last weekend for its annual College Conference on Cooperatives (CCOC). The three-day conference provides an interactive learning experience for American agriculture’s next generation on the importance, structure, and operations of various types of cooperative groups.

“Cooperatives have long played a vital role in bolstering rural and urban communities alike – which is why National Farmers Union established this program more than four decades ago” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “By engaging tomorrow’s agricultural leaders in hands-on application of cooperative business principles and structures, we can help inform them of and prepare them for the many opportunities available to them through the cooperative model.”

Representatives and farmers from traditional and value-added agricultural, housing, and consumer cooperatives offered their insight on cooperative development. Students heard from former CHS Foundation president William Nelson as well as former executive director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives Anne Reynolds. In addition, participants visited several area cooperatives, including Mississippi Market Food Co-op, Seward Co-op, Riverton Housing Co-op, and REI, as well as the Mill City Museum, a river-front museum built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill.

“NFU was founded on the core principles of education and cooperation, and we proudly build on that foundation today with in-person learning experiences like CCOC,” Johnson said. “Thanks to the support of our sponsors, NFU is able to provide cooperative education beyond the farm and ranch gate to young leaders from college campuses across the United States.”

This year’s conference was made possible by premier supporters CHS Foundation, CHS Inc., CoBank, Farmers Union Industries Foundation, and NFU Foundation. National Farmers Union also appreciates the generosity of the Ralph K. Morris Foundation, which provided travel scholarships for several students and hosted the keynote luncheon.


About NFU
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.

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