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Farmer Cooperatives 2000

 “Building Financial Strength” was the theme of the third Farmer Cooperatives conference, Dec. 14-15, 2000, in Las Vegas. More than 100 cooperative leaders and academics examined challenges and opportunities facing farmer-owned cooperatives. Some cooperatives were finding it difficult to remain competitive with investor-owned firms because they had no option to raise capital for expansion from outside investors. The workshop examined innovative ways cooperatives can raise capital from non-traditional sources, and strategies designed to strengthen cooperative balance sheets. These included mezzanine financing, joint ventures, subordinated debt, trust preferred securities and other hybrid debt/equity instruments. The workshop emphasized the importance of creating an equity redemption budget and producing reasonable returns to producer equity. Workshop papers and presentation materials are available.

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