WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 3, 2012) — The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) joins cooperatives across the nation to recognize October as National Co-op Month and celebrate the important role farmer-owned cooperatives play in strengthening the economy, providing jobs and improving life in local communities.
This year, National Co-op Month joins NCFC’s Year of Farmer Co-ops, which is part of the wider effort to recognize year 2012 as the International Year of the Cooperative. The Year of the Farmer Co-op and Co-op Month showcase how America’s farmer-owned businesses allow individual farmers across the country to opportunity to truly participate in the food and agriculture system.
“For more than 100 years, farmer-owned co-ops have given individual farmers a fair chance to compete and succeed in the global marketplace,” said NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner. “I’m excited to dedicate this month to co-ops, and showcase how farmer co-ops directly support rural America and help connect consumers with the farmers who provide them a safe, affordable and abundant food, fiber and fuel supply.”
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2.2 million farmers own the nearly 2,300 farmer cooperatives in the nation. The farmer-owned cooperatives generate $213 billion annually in economic activity and generate 184,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs.
Throughout the month, NCFC plans to highlight the role that farmer-owned co-ops play in improving economic opportunity and the quality of life in rural America. These efforts include representing farmer cooperatives during USDA’s Co-op Day on October 16.
To learn more about farmer cooperatives, please watch NCFC’s Year of the Farmer Co-op video.
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.