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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.

 program summary is available and presentations are available below:



 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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