October is Rural Cooperative Month, but what are rural cooperatives? That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
October is Rural Cooperative Month and a part of USDA Rural Development focuses on business cooperatives and their vital role in rural economies. Rural Business Cooperative Service Administrator Karama Neal provides various examples of rural business cooperatives and how they serve customers both locally and nationally.
“Cooperatives provide countless business services to rural America. As a child, I used to go to a cooperative health clinic on occasion that my dad was the leader of at one point. You’ll see food cooperatives where folks will band together to market different foods. That can be a cooperative. Cooperative farming happens frequently and financial services, credit unions, which are cooperative,” she said. “Rural electric cooperatives are another tool that are really important in rural communities where folks may have interest there. More than half the nation’s land mass is served by rural electric cooperatives. That’s 42 million people, including 92 percent of persistent poverty communities are served by rural electric cooperatives. So, really we see cooperatives in all sectors of the economy and people encounter them every day, whether they know it or not.”
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National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.
Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.