What is a Cooperative?




  1. involving mutual assistance in working toward a common goal.

    "every member has clearly defined tasks in a cooperative enterprise"


    collaborative · collective · communal · combined · common · joint · 


  1. a farm, business, or other organization which is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.

    "we run the agency as a workers' cooperative"

Click & listen Terence Courtney & Dania Davy of the Federation discuss Cooperative Development on Episode #1 of Federation Conversation.

our podcast. 

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Cooperation among cooperatives is not just a principle or slogan that  FSC/LAF lives by, it also represents our strategy for competing with the agricultural behemoths that currently dominate the industry, making it harder for small farmers to survive. 


Our strategy in this regard has four key components:


  1. CoopEcon – a program of regional cooperative development education, networking and relationship building

  2. Academic Alliance Building – a program that builds partnerships with colleges, universities and technical schools to educate students about cooperatives, and provide them with places to apply classroom knowledge in the real world

  3. Cooperative Developer & Manager Training – a program led by the Rural Training Center to teach members and staff about cooperative development and managing coops

  4. Cooperative Development Consortium – a program of harnessing regional capacity by first building/strengthening State Associations, followed by the development of more Cooperative Development Centers, and finally by coordinating the activities of said Cooperative Development Centers.


These four components enable FSC/LAF to build stronger institutional mechanisms needed to provide more and even better assistance throughout the southern region.  Greater geographic presence helps ensure that individual farmers get more personalized assistance, and imparts the membership as a whole with the ability to wield power that more effectively reshapes economic and political conditions to their benefit.

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