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Agricultural and Food Cooperatives in Rural Development

This June 2004 conference, Agricultural and Food Cooperatives in Rural Development: Implications of Business Dynamics for Public Policy, examined the successes and failures of cooperatives in recent years, explored roles that cooperative businesses might play in rural development, and initiated a dialogue on possible changes to federal cooperative policies.

Policymakers, industry representatives, economists and other experts from across the country participated in the conference, which was sponsored by Farm Foundation and USDA’s Economic Research Service.

A  program summary is available and presentations are available below:

Welcome  Mary Bohman,USDA’s Economic Research Service
Keynote Speaker Chad Moutray, Chief Economist, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration
Cooperatives and Rural Development in Context: Small Business Dynamics in Rural and Urban America
Session One The Promise of Cooperatives: Strengths and Conditions Conducive to Cooperative Formation
Timothy Wojan, ERS, Chair
Joan Fulton, Purdue University
When Do Cooperatives Work?
Steven Buccola and Robin Cross, Oregon State University
Cooperative and Investor-Owned Structures in a Risky Economic Environment
David P. Swanson, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
The Role of Federal and State Policy in the Formation and Success of Cooperative Businesses
Session Two Successful Cooperatives
Steven Buccola, Oregon State University, Chair
Jeffrey B. Stroburg,West Central Cooperative
Stephen R. Wright, Pro-Fac Cooperative Inc.
Dennis Bolling, United Producers Inc.
Session Three Challenges Cooperatives Face in Dynamic Markets and Their Strategic Alternatives
Robert Cropp, University of Wisconsin, Chair
Michael Boland, Kansas State University
Governance and Outside Equity Issues Facing Cooperatives Peter D. Goldsmith, University of Illinois
Competing in the Global Agri-Food System: A Buy-Side Perspective Mark J. Hanson, Lindquist & Vennum
Challenges Arising From Legal Restrictions on Cooperatives
Session Four Case Studies of Failed or Struggling Cooperatives
Michael Boland, Kansas State University, Chair
Richard Sexton, University of California, Davis
The Bankruptcy of Tri-Valley Growers
Kimberly A. Zeuli, University of Wisconsin
Transforming the Cooper

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