Washington, DC—At its 83rd annual meeting last week in Naples, Florida, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) launched its celebration of the Year of Farmer Co-ops, part of the wider effort to recognize the International Year of the Cooperative.
The Year of the Farmer Co-op will showcase how America’s farmer-owned businesses enable their producer-members to thrive in a global marketplace, how they create jobs and economic growth across rural America, and how they provide consumers with a safe, abundant and affordable supply of food and fiber.
“I am excited about what 2012, the Year of the Farmer Co-op, holds for us, and the opportunity that it gives all of us in the farmer cooperative community to tell our story to policy makers, opinion leaders, and the public all across the country,” said NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner in his opening remarks to the meeting’s 560 attendees. “We have a fantastic story to tell—one of how co-ops have created real value for millions of farmers and ranchers across the U.S.; one of how farmer co-ops are an engine of job creation and economic growth throughout rural America; and one of how farmer co-ops connect customers and consumers directly with the farmers who provide them with a safe, affordable and abundant food, fiber, and fuel supply.”
In July of 2011, the United States Senate passed a resolution declaring 2012 to be the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) to recognize and celebrate the benefits cooperatives of all types deliver to the communities they serve. The Senate’s action came on the heels of the United Nations General Assembly passing a resolution proclaiming the year 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. The Year of the Farmer Co-op is NCFC’s contribution to the yearlong, global celebration of the cooperative business model.
NCFC is planning events throughout 2012 in order to spread the word about the Year of the Farmer Co-op. High points will include a week of activities in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with NCFC’s June Washington Conference, and celebrations throughout October, which is designated as Co-op Month.
A video on the Year of the Farmer Co-op can be found online at http://youtu.be/6My7l_4OwWA.
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.