Conference To Explore Innovation In Cooperatives

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The Seventh Annual Farmer Cooperatives Conference, held November 1-2 in Kansas City, Mo., will highlight the innovative approaches adopted by cooperatives nationwide. Cooperatives are being created in new sectors, established cooperatives are modifying their capital structures, and new state laws allow unprecedented prospects for the creation of innovative cooperative businesses. With many of our cooperatives at the forefront of agribusiness innovation, ‘Cooperative Innovation’ will provide co-op directors and managers with timely information to navigate organizational change.

Presenting at the conference are CEOs and board members representing some of the nation’s most successful cooperatives, such as CHS Inc., AGRI Industries, DFA, and Florida’s Natural Growers. They will be joined by nationally recognized cooperative scholars and attorneys from around the country to discuss winning marketing strategies, successful joint ventures, new equity structures, and new cooperative energy ventures.

Additional sessions will feature cooperative leaders sharing their perspectives on how to foster innovative and effective boards and how cooperatives can influence policy makers. The dinner speaker, Gary Phillips, president & CEO of Associated Wholesale Growers, will provide his perspective on cooperative links in the food chain.

The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives organizes this conference, with sponsorship from Farm Foundation, Eide Bailly LLP, Land O’Lakes Inc., Badgerland Farm Credit Services, CHS Foundation, CoBank, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, West Central Cooperative, The Cooperative Foundation, Lindquist & Vennum PLLP, NCFC Education Foundation, and Dairy Farmers of America.

Program details and registration information are available at http://www.wisc.edu/uwcc/farmercoops04/index.html.

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Ashwini Rao

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