University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives

Cooperatives: A Tool for Community Economic Development



This chapter will explain how the Manual is organized, and provide information about the Conference.


This Manual is designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of cooperatives: what they are, how they work, and how to start one.  In addition, it offers numerous examples of actual co-ops in Wisconsin and other states which are successfully meeting the needs of their members and their communities.

CHAPTERS 2 AND 3 of the Manual provides the basics about cooperatives.  It explains what makes cooperatives unique from other methods of doing business, and offers a brief history of co-ops and their impact on Wisconsin’s economy.  Chapter 2 provides an insightful look at how co-ops can be powerful tools for economic development.

CHAPTERS 4 THROUGH 6 provide all the nitty-gritty, step by step basics for getting involved in cooperative development.  These chapters review in detail the steps necessary to start a co-op, and the role of the steering committee in that process.  They also provide a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to conducting a feasibility study, and an outline of a complete business plan.

In addition, chapters 7-9 provide a review of the financial structure of co-ops,  the legal issues pertaining to co-ops, and the keys to success for starting new cooperatives.

The Manual concludes with an Appendix that includes a complete section on resources for help
in getting involved in cooperative development.


WELCOME to the 1998 Cooperative Development Training Conference.  We’re so glad you could join us for this special opportunity.  Thanks to our financial sponsors and our organizing partners, we’ve been able to present to you some of the most innovative and successful applications of the cooperative model in the country.

The conference is designed with a training emphasis.  We understand that conference participants will walk in with various levels of “co-op experience” or knowledge.  To get a basic introduction to prepare you for the rest of the day, we recommend the “Co-ops 101” workshop at 9:30.

For the rest of the day, you’re free to follow your interests.  The Conference is organized around seven different topic areas or types of co-ops:

Each type of co-op has its own block of the conference. With the exception of agriculture, which has three workshop sessions, each topic will be discussed twice.  The first time through, workshops will provide general overviews and examples.  The final four workshops at 2:15 will focus exclusively on the “nuts and bolts” of starting new cooperatives.

So after starting with “Co-ops 101,” what might your day look like?  If you are interested in agricultural cooperatives, you might attend the New Generation Agricultural Co-op workshop at 10:45, follow it with the Ag Tourism/Niche Markets workshop at 1 pm, and top off the day with the How to Start a New Agricultural Cooperative workshop at 2:15 pm.

If you’re interested in consumer-owned cooperatives, you might attend the Housing & Development workshop in the morning, either the Child Care or the Food Buying Club workshop in the afternoon, and learn how to start a new consumer co-op at the 2:15 pm workshop.

We hope you enjoy your day.


Sales & Marketing Manager
Roots and Fruits Cooperative Produce
451-E Industrial Blvd. Northeast
Minneapolis MN 55143-2930
phone: 612-379-3030
fax: 612-379-9649


  •     Anderson has worked in cooperative and community-based business management and development for 20 years. She has provided training and organizational development assistance to consumer, worker and producer co-ops’ various industries, including natural foods retail and wholesale, construction, and production and manufacturing.  She is currently working with a new secondary co-op in south Minneapolis:  The Cooperativa Mercado Central, an alliance of Latino retail businesses.  Roots & Fruits is a 20 year old wholesale distributor of quality foods:  fresh produce, dry goods, cheese, soy products, and other specialty foods with certified organics in all lines.  Roots & Fruits is a worker-owned co-op.  The business operates 24 hours a day, with 73 workers and a fleet of eight trucks delivering daily in the Twin Cities Metro area, and a growing of customers in outstate Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

    General Manager
    Jackson Electric Cooperative
    P.O. Box 546
    Black River Falls WI 54615
    phone: 715-284-7143
    fax: 715-284-5385


  •     Anderson has been with Jackson Electric for 38 years, Manager since 1979.  A former Mayor of lack  River Falls, Anderson continues civic duties in his work with the Jackson County Economic Development Corporation and as Chair of the Black River Falls Industrial Development Commission.  Anderson received the “Fred C. Pearce” Award in 1993 from the State Dept. of Business Development. The “highest individual award that can be awarded by SDBD,” it recognized his success in local economic development.  A life-long Black River Falls native, Anderson has four children.

    Cooperative Development Specialist
    and Rural Development Director
    Farmers Union Enterprises, Inc.
    1118 Broadway Ste. 202
    Alexandria MN 56308
    phone: 320-763-0399
    fax: 320-763-6564


  •     Bjornson assists individuals and rural communities in cooperative and rural development projects.  He has been involved in the start-up of numerous cooperatives in the upper Midwest.  Before joining FUE, Bjornson worked for eleven years at Sheyenne Valley Farm Management, where he instructed farmers in farm management skills including developing cash flows, net worth statements, income tax planning, goal setting, marketing and enterprise analysis.  He has taught vocational agriculture to high school students, is on the board of North American Aquaculture Co-op,  and in 1994 worked in Russia to assist in the privatization of a collective farm through the Agricultural Co-op Development International program.
        With a B.S. from North Dakota State University, Bjornson continues to own and operate an irrigated farm in North Dakota that produces alfalfa and corn silage.

    North Farm Cooperative
    204 Regas Road.
    Madison WI  53714
    phone: 608-241-2667
    fax: 608-241-0688 or 888-632-3276


  •     Borkovitz has been involved with one sort of food co-op or another since he was a kid.  His interest in natural foods blossomed in high school as he was seeking to discover how to have more energy and feel better.  A former licensed engineer, Borkovitz decided to follow his passion which led him to North Farm Cooperative.
        North Farm Cooperative is a cooperative warehouse that began in 1971 in Madison.  Starting out as ICC (Intra-Community Cooperative) with one person and one truck (no warehouse) it has grown to 120 employees and sales of over $26 million dollars (in 13 states) in 1997.
        North Farm sells to both retail stores and buying clubs.  Buying clubs consist of between one and over 100 members who buy their food together.  Belonging to a buying club is an excellent way to get high quality natural foods and other natural products delivered at a substantial savings.

    Homestead Housing Center
    5500 Cenex Drive, Station 210
    Inver Grove Heights MN 55077
    phone: 612-451-4930
    fax: 612-451-5568
    web site:


  •     Bouma became President/CEO of Homestead Housing Center (HHC) in September, 1997.  A resident of Edina, Minnesota, Bouma earned a Masters in administration at the University of Minnesota in 1975 and has spent the past 22 years in the development and management of senior housing facilities, including independent, assisted-living and nursing centers.
        He served most recently as president and CEO of Greystone Systems, Inc.  Minneapolis, which provides consulting services in operations management, facility development and marketing to long-term care and senior housing organizations.
        HHC was founded as a corporation in 1991 to help rural communities develop housing cooperatives for seniors.  From startup 1992 through December 31, 1996, it fostered construction of 219 cooperatively owned homes occupied in Iowa and Minnesota.  Several more Homestead Cooperatives are in various stages of planning and development in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

    Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
    10800 East Bethany Drive, 4th Flr.
    Aurora, CO  80014-2632
    phone: 303-752-5800
    fax: 303-752-5810


  •     Carter was elected president of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union in November 1993, which represents farm and ranch families in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.  As President, Carter is working to advance the organization’s legislative, cooperative and educational priorities.  He is currently working with members throughout the three states on new producer-controlled marketing initiatives.  He was instrumental in establishing the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center, which helps foster projects such as Mountain View Harvest bread cooperative, a certified kosher meat processing co-op, and others.
        Carter has previously served as the Secretary and Treasurer of the National Farmers Union, which represents more than one-quarter of a million farmers and ranch families.  Mr. Carter served as a full-time national officer for the Farmers Union from 1987 until his election as RMFU president.
        During his employment with the national organization, he worked directly with state Farmers Union organizations in 23 states.  He also monitored trends in corporate agriculture for the Farmers Union.  His 1991 text, Who Owns America?, is utilized by the Farmers Union to introduce high-school age students to the dangers posed to family-sized producers by increasing corporate concentration in agriculture.
        Before 1987, Carter worked as Director of Communications for the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.   Mr. Carter directed the successful campaign to pass strong agricultural debt restructuring legislation in Colorado in 1986.

    Cooperative Development Project Manager
    Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund
    1219 University Avenue Southeast
    Minneapolis MN 55414
    phone: 612-331-9103
    fax: 612-698-5775


  •     Courteau is the former manager of Mississippi Market Co-op and is currently producing a series of manuals, ranging from financial management and governance to membership and expansion projects for use in natural food co-ops.  She coordinates the “Kris Olsen Traveling Cooperative Institute,” a series of training seminars for boards and staff of food co-ops, and is a regular contributor to Cooperative Grocer magazine.

    Professor and Director
    UW-Center for Cooperatives
    224 Taylor Hall
    427 Lorch Street
    Madison WI 53706
    phone: 608-262-9483
    fax: 608-262-3251


  •     Cropp is the director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives (UWCC) and professor of Agricultural Economics.  He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.  Cropp teaches, conducts research and provides extension assistance in cooperative management, business structure, cooperative education and marketing.  He works closely with dairy cooperatives, farm organizations and policy leaders on dairy marketing and dairy policy issues.
        Formerly the Dean of the College of Agriculture at University of Wisconsin-Platteville,  Cropp has carried out research in dairy marketing and policy and in agricultural cooperatives.  He has more than 50 publications in dairy marketing, policy and cooperatives.  He is a frequent speaker at state and national meetings.
        Cropp has served as director of local farm supply cooperatives and currently serves as an advisory director to the corporate board of Land O’ Lakes, Inc.  He was executive director of the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force, serves as a consultant to the U.S. General Accounting Office, is an advisory member of the Wisconsin Dairy 2020 Committee, and has served on special committees for the National Milk Producers Federation.  He’s an economic advisor to the Dairy Marketing Initiative, a group of dairy cooperatives in the Upper Midwest seeking to improve milk marketing.  He provides a monthly dairy situation and outlook report for the state of Wisconsin and the nation. and works with a variety of cooperatives through out the Midwest.

    Berens, Rodenberg & O’Connor
    P.O. Box 428
    New Ulm MN 56073-0428
    phone:  507-354-3161
    fax:  507-354-7297


  •     Dahlgren has been with Berens, Rodenberg & O’Connor since 1992.  He has general law practice responsibilities, along with a special emphasis on handling co-op mergers, consolidations, acquisitions and joint ventures.  Licensed to practice in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, he previously served as Credit Officer for St. Paul Bank for Cooperatives and as Business Service Manager for Cenex/Land O’Lakes Ag Services.  He earned his law degree from UW-Madison, and an Agricultural Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota.  An independent study stint with VOCA (Volunteers in Overseas Co-op Assistance) took him to Kazakhastan as part of a dairy structure consulting mission in 1994.

    General Manager
    Isthmus Engineering & Mfg. Cooperative
    2701 Progress Road
    Madison WI 53716
    phone: 608-222-9000
    fax: 608-222-9183


  •     IE&MC is in the business of designing and building custom automated machining, assembly, testing and automation systems.  Housed in a 26,000 sq. ft. building with a total of 45 persons active in the business,  annual sales are approximately $10,000,000.
        Dahlgaard writes:  “It was while attending a conference in 1981 at the University of Minnesota, very similar to the one you are presenting, that the group was first introduced to the cooperative structure.  Shortly after attending the conference, the partnership was restructured under cooperative laws of the State of Wisconsin, and IE&MC was born.”  Since then, the co-op’s membership has grown to include 32 of the 45 persons who are actively involved in the company.

    Dakota Growers Pasta Cooperative
    33200 366th Street Southwest
    Makoti ND 58756-9569
    phone: 701-726-5634


  •     Everett and Peggy Dobrinski own and operate a small grain farm in west central North Dakota.  Their primary cash crop is durum wheat, but they also grow lentils, barley, and crombie, and have raised sunflowers and flax in the past.  Dobrinski is active in cooperatives and has served on the Interim Board of Dakota Growers Pasta Cooperative, where he’s currently one of the member-owners.  He is board chairman of Verendrye Electric Cooperative and serves on the board of the St. Paul Bank for Cooperatives.

    Multi-Family Housing Coordinator
    USDA Rural Development
    4949 Kirschling Court
    Stevens Point WI  54481
    phone: 715-345-7600 ext. 7145
    fax: 715-345-7669


  •     Engel is the Multi Family Housing Coordinator of USDA Rural Development (formerly Farmers Home Administration) located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  She has held this position since 1990.
        With over 23 years experience with Rural Development, Engel has worked with the Single Family Housing Program as well as the Self Help Technical Assistance program.  She is responsible for providing direction, planning and coordination of the Multi Family Housing program in Wisconsin.

    Vice President & Lending Team Manager
    St. Paul Bank for Cooperatives
    P.O. Box 64949
    St. Paul MN 55164-0949
    phone: 800-282-4150


  •     Estenson has been with St. Paul Bank for Cooperatives since 1971, and now serves as Vice President & Lending Team Manager.  In this position, Estenson manages the Processing and Marketing credit team serving the Bank’s dairy, animal agriculture, sugar beet, and corn sweetener/marketing, and specialty grain processing/marketing segments of the Bank’s portfolio.  St. Paul Bank is a federally chartered, customer-owned cooperative bank serving rural America.  It provides loans and financial services to agricultural cooperatives and rural utility systems.  The bank serves over 600 agribusiness and rural utility customers in approximately 25 states with loans and closely-related financial services.

    Member Education Coordinator
    Williamson Street Cooperative
    1202 Williamson Street
    Madison WI 53703
    phone: 608-251-0884
    fax: 608-251-3121


  •     Ferris has been in the business of natural foods cheffing, consulting and education for many years.  She used to consult at various holistic clinics in Minneapolis where she also owned a catering and consulting business called Cuisine Care.
        Incorporated in September of 1973, Willy Street Co-op was born into a politically charged atmosphere. Founding members felt a need to make a statement to support an alternative way of life. Twenty-five years later, Willy Street Co-op continues to provide alternatives--offering the finest in natural and organic foods; maintaining a safe, participatory workplace; supporting local
    businesses and suppliers; and operating the store efficiently for the long-term benefit of members and the community.
        Willy Street Co-op is owned by its more than 4,000 members, governed by a board of directors, and operated by a paid staff. Members have always been the backbone of the Co-op, supporting it financially, participating in governance and volunteering for work.

    Design Coalition
    2088 Atwood Avenue
    Madison WI   53704
    phone: 608-246-8846
    fax: 608-246-8670


  •     Lou Host-Jablonski, AIA is an architect with Design Coalition, Inc.  His projects have included multi-family housing, childcare centers, new homes and additions, community- built projects, group homes, community centers and playgrounds, and dwellings for persons with disabilities and chemical sensitivities. He has focused on resource-efficient (sustainable) design and planning, and environments for children.  He  serves on Madison’s Urban Design Commission.
        Design Coalition is a non-profit architectural and planning office working in the Madison and Dane County area since 1972.  The group has been involved in the creation of co-housing in the area since 1991.

    Associate Professor
    School of Human Ecology
    Room 345A 1300 Linden Drive
    Madison WI 53706
    phone: 608-262-7390
    fax: 608-265-5335


  •     Hoyt is an associate professor in the School of Human Ecology and an associate of the U.W. Center for Cooperatives.  She teaches, conducts research and provides extension assistance to consumer cooperatives. She has written widely on the history and development prospects of consumer cooperatives.  She developed and is director of the Cooperative Management Institute (CMI), an intensive three week training program for cooperative managers and she also coordinates the annual conferences of the Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA).
        Recipient of the 1990 National Cooperative Education Award, Hoyt received her Ph.D. in Home Economics from Kansas Sate University, where she was also an instructor in Family Economics for seven years.  She served two terms as a Director of the National Cooperative Bank and served as chair of the NCB Development Corporation.  Hoyt is a past manager of the Sacramento Consumers Cooperative, and past board president of the Wisconsin Cooperative Development Council.  She is currently on the boards of the Madison Community Land Trust, the Federated Youth Foundation, the Southern Cooperative Development Fund and the National Cooperative Business Association where she is a member of the executive committee.

    Center for Democratic Solutions
    2128 Hayes Street
    San Francisco CA 94117
    phone: 415-221-7644
    fax: 415-831-0393


  •     Huet is an attorney providing legal and consulting services to worker cooperatives through the non-profit Center for Democratic Solutions.  He is also the half-time Personnel Liason for the 140 worker-owners of Rainbow Grocery Cooperative and a member on the support staff of the Association of Arizmendi Cooperatives, a new chain of cooperative bakeries.  Huet is engaged in a trans-national study of worker cooperatives focusing on the challenges and causes of growth; findings from his visits to Italy and the Basque country of Spain appeared in the November ‘97 issue of Dollars and Sense magazine.

    Outreach Specialist
    UW Center for Cooperatives (UWCC)
    427 Lorch Street
    Madison WI 53706-1603
    phone:  608-262-3382
    fax:  608-262-3251


  •     Hughes joined UWCC in August 1997.  He  has a quarter time research appointment in UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.  Current project work includes cooperative modernization and finance (a project sponsored by UWCC and the Farm Foundation), dairy revitalization involving Wisconsin cooperatives (a joint project with WFC), and several cooperative development initiatives.  Hughes is also working on new program development for UWCC jointly with other Center staff.  Hughes also coordinates the Upper Midwest Dairy Coalition for the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives (WFC).
        Hughes joined UWCC after working as WFC’s director of dairy policy and consulting for Cooperative Development Services on several cooperative development projects.  For 12 years prior to 1994, he worked for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection in various positions involving marketing, business development, management, policy and regulatory matters.
        Hughes moved to Wisconsin from New York in 1980 to obtain a Masters in Agricultural Economics.

    Associate Director
    Cooperative Development Initiative
    UW-River Falls
    410 South Third Street
    River Falls WI 54022-5001
    phone:  715-425-0671
    fax: 715-425-4479


  •     The Cooperative Development Initiative at UW-River Falls is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  CDI provides training and technical assistance to start-up cooperative and collaborative ventures in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Currently Jacobson also serves as a consultant to two community foundations in western Wisconsin.
        Jacobson’s career experience includes the start-up and management of the Southeastern MN Initiative Fund, a 20-county community foundation addressing economic development and human service issues in southeast and south central Minnesota.  SEMIF encouraged and fostered multi-community collaboration to address common issues.  She also has extensive experience with county-level faculty with the University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota Extension Services.      Jacobson has an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and an MA in Home Economics Education & Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota.

    Builders Commonwealth
    517 Garfield Avenue
    Duluth MN 55802
    phone: 218-726-1192
    fax: 218-726-0824


  •     Kahn lives in Duluth, MN where he is a manager at Builders Commonwealth, a construction co-op.  He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the New School for Social Research in New York City, and the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Exposed to co-ops while living in a student co-op at the University of California, Berkley in 1965, Kahn organized his first co-op (a garage) in Brooklyn, NY in 1969.
       Since moving to Duluth, he has helped start (besides Builders Commonwealth) a food co-op, a cooperative food warehouse, an alternative newspaper and an alternative school.  Business and civic interests have included a furniture business and numerous development projects, a stint on the city council, and involvement in several local issues.  Kahn won a HUD/DOE Passive Solar Design Award in 1979 and recently received a Minnesota Preservation Society Award for his restoration of the former Riverside School.

    Childspace Management Group
    13 East Mt. Pleasant Avenue
    Philadelphia PA 19119
    phone: 215-248-3080
    fax: 215-248-4706


  •     Kavchok is member of Childspace Management Group: Worker-Cooperative Childcare Centers, in Philadelphia.  She joined the worker co-op eight years ago and is completing her third year as the co-op’s president.  She is also on the board of the replication arm of the organization, Childspace Cooperative Development, Inc., which provides ongoing technical support and training to other groups interested in creating a worker owned daycare center.

    Board Member
    Garden Preschool Cooperative
    141 Grand Street
    Jersey City NJ 07302
    phone: 201-915-9747


  •     Kreutz has been a member of the Garden Preschool Co-op in Jersey City since September 1996, when her daughter started attending the preschool.  Kreutz has been a board member since June 1997.  As a board member, she has served as chair of the jobs committee, which is responsible for keeping the school running smoothly on a daily basis (along with the Director/Head Teacher).
        Garden Preschool Co-op was founded in 1994 by Alma Rodriguez and Cullen Schaffer and other like-minded parents to provide a financially viable preschool run by a community of parents cooperatively.  Parental involvement in the classroom is a central principal of this cooperative.

    Outreach Specialist
    UW Center for Cooperatives
    224 Taylor Hall
    427 Lorch Street
    Madison WI 53706-1503
    phone: 608-265-2903
    fax: 608-262-3251


  •     Lawless has been with the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives (UWCC) since 1992.  He completed a masters degree in the UW’s Land Resources program in 1994.  As a researcher and outreach specialist, Lawless has been involved in a number of ag-based economic development projects, involving small-scale processing of soybeans, aquaculture, multi-family dairy farm expansions, and the processing and wholesaling of organic produce.  A common theme in this work has been to introduce the new generation cooperative approach to Wisconsin farmers.

    Buying Club Representative
    Blooming Prairie Warehouse
    2340 Heinz Road
    Iowa City IA 52240
    phone: 319-337-4471 ext. 157
    fax: 319-337-4592


  •     Lee is responsible for generating new buying club accounts, setting up new buying club programs and services, providing assistance and support for buying club members, linking new customers with an existing buying club or helping them organize new groups, coordinating buying club regional meetings to introduce members to new products and assist them in increasing the effectiveness of their buying clubs, and helping prepare news pages for a monthly buying club publication.  Since its inception in 1974, Blooming Prairie’s growth and success have been reliant on the  support of its buying clubs. The club program’s success has continued to build  in scope, level of service, and sales.

    Co-housing Members
    2027 Madison Street
    Madison WI 53711
    phone: 608-256-7250


  •     Art and Sue Lloyd have been active members of Village Co-Housing Community since 1993.  Art is a retired Episcopal priest.  Sue has worked extensively with community development loan funds throughout her career, including the Madison Area Community Development Loan Fund, the Wisconsin Council on Nicaragua (which raises money for a community loan fund in Nicaragua), and the Wisconsin Episcopal Community Investment Fund.  Art has been involved in housing cooperatives and other forms of alternative housing for many years.

    Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund
    1219 University Avenue Southeast
    Minneapolis MN 55414
    phone: 612-331-9103
    fax: 612-331-9145


  •     Lund is Director of NCDF, a community development loan fund with assets of $2.4 million lending to worker, producer, consumer and housing cooperatives across a ten state region of the Upper Midwest.  Prior to joining NCDF in 1992, Lund spent two years as Director for International Projects for the National Center for Employee Ownership in Oakland, CA.  She has also worked for the Wisconsin Department of Development’s Bureau of Community Development, and for several small business and economic development consulting firms.
        In addition to her work with cooperative borrowers,  Lund also serves as Loan Fund Mgr. for the Dayton Hudson Artists Loan Fund, a micro enterprise lender for artists in the Twin Cities area.  Lund holds a seat on the board and finance committee of the Co-op Development Foundation in Washington, D.C., sits on the grant and loan committee for the Minnesota Housing Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation and preservation of affordable housing, writes a regular finance column for Cooperative Grocer, and serves as the treasurer of her child’s cooperative nursery school.

    Madison WI
    phone: 608-243-7892


  •     MacCrimmon, who describes herself as a household engineer, is currently working in retail.  She and her husband, who works as a tool & dye maker in Madison, became interested in co-housing as a way to improve their quality of life and to develop deeper ties to their community.  They currently live in a co-housing community in Madison.

    Executive Director
    Cooperative Development Services (CDS)
    30 West Mifflin Street, Ste. 401
    Madison WI 53703
    phone: 608-258-4391
    fax: 608-258-4394


  •     Mahoney has worked as a Regional Representative in Central Europe for VOCA (Volunteers for Overseas Cooperative Assistance) for six years, and as a Cooperative Development Specialist with USDA’s Agricultural Cooperative Service for four years.  She has a Master’s Degree in Ag Economics, and grew up on a family farm in Illinois.

    Attorney and Shareholder
    Doherty, Rumble & Butler Professional Assn.
    2800 Minnesota World Trade Center
    30 East Seventh Street
    St. Paul MN 55101-4999
    phone: 612-291-9333
    fax: 612-291-9313


  •     McFall practices in the areas of securities and corporate law.  Much of his time in recent years has been devoted to counseling value-added co-ops with respect to securities offerings and related transactions.  The cooperatives he has advised are involved in an assortment of agricultural businesses, including sugar production, corn and wheat processing, vegetable production and processing, hog and chicken production, egg processing, and beef and pork processing.  McFall joined DR&B in 1983, after graduation from the University of Chicago Law School.  He received his B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1979.

    Business Developer
    Cooperative Development Services (CDS)
    30 West Mifflin Street, Ste. 401
    Madison WI 53703
    phone: 608-258-4396
    fax: 608-258-4394


  •     Myers’ areas of expertise include market analysis, research, and feasibility studies.  She co-authored the Business Planning Guide for Cooperatives, a manual designed to assist cooperatives with strategic and business planning.  Myers has been involved in numerous economic development projects in rural areas, working with both groups and individuals to assess the feasibility of potential business ideas.  Myers holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

    Executive Director
    United Way of Faulkner County
    PO Box 489
    Conway AR 72033
    phone: 501-327-5087
    fax: 501-329-2018


  •     Miller has 20 years experience in economic and rural development, working in program design and management, resource development, and evaluation.
        As executive director of United Way, she is organizing a new cooperative entity where eight human service organizations will share equipment, facilities and staff.  Prior to joining United Way, Miller was Director of the Arkansas Rural Enterprise Center, a program of Winrock International, where she helped some 300 small, rural “mom-and-pop” manufacturing firms organize a manufacturing network to obtain affordable technical assistance.  Miller is co-author of Rural Resource Management:  Planning for the Long Term.  The book discusses techniques for community problem solving when problems cut across institutional boundaries
        Miller has completed projects for the Ford Foundation, Winrock International, Kansas State University, government ministries, and community-based organizations in the U.S. and Africa.
        From 1978 to 1983 Miller worked for the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives and U.W. Center for Cooperatives.  She completed an internship with the National Consumer Cooperative Bank in its first year of operation, and received research awards from National Cooperative Business Assn. and American Institute of Cooperation.

    Feed & Specialty Pool Coordinator
    CROPP Co-op/Organic Valley
    PO Box 159
    LaFarge WI 54639
    phone: 608-625-2602
    fax: 608-625-2600


  •     Moody has been involved in the organic industry for 11 years as a certified organic farmer in western Kansas, a grain buyer for a certified organic flour mill, and a feed & specialty pool coordinator for CROPP.  During the time Moody has been in the organic industry he has seen dramatic changes in the way business has been done and has seen how cooperative ventures have failed and succeeded.  Moody will provide insight into some of the pitfalls associated with start-up co-ops as their business grows and evolves in response to the forces of the marketplace.
        Moody has given numerous seminars, workshops, and panel discussions on organic certification, organic grain marketing, and consumer advocacy for sustainable rural policies.

    E. G. NADEAU
    Director of Research, Planning & Development
    Cooperative Development Services (CDS)
    30 West Mifflin Street, Ste. 401
    Madison WI 53703
    phone: 608-258-4393
    fax: 608-258-4394


  •     CDS provides strategic planning and development assistance to new and established cooperatives and to communities.  Nadeau has worked for CDS since its inception in 1985.  During that time he has assisted over 200 cooperative and community development projects, primarily in Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  Nadeau has a Ph.D. in Sociology and a minor in Agricultural Economics.  He and David Thompson recently published Cooperation Works!, a book which provides over 50 examples of cooperative approaches to addressing rural and urban problems in the United States.

    Independent Pharmacy Cooperative
    PO Box 617
    West Bend WI 53095
    phone: 414-338-6446
    fax: 414-338-1758


  •     Steven F. Niebauer has been President of the Independent Pharmacy cooperative since 1991, and  CEO since 1993.  In 1978 he graduated from the UW School of Pharmacy.  Since 1979, he has owned and operated 15 pharmacies and two durable medical equipment companies.  He has represented Independent Pharmacy on numerous regional and national boards.

    SoyCo, LLC
    301 South Main Street.
    Adams WI 53910
    phone: 608-339-BEAN (2326)
    fax: 608-564-2022


  •     Osterloh is a seed dealer for Novertus and Blaney.  He is also a crop and soils consultant for Midwestern Bio-Ag.  He owns and operates his own grain and beef farm which includes 250 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa, along with 12 head of beef cattle.  Presently he serves as director and treasurer of the Juneau-Adams-Marquette Corn & Soy Assn.  He is a member of several state and national corn and soybean growers organizations.  Osterloh currently serves as a committeeman for the FSA of Adams County.  He is also a past representative to the Dealer Advisory Board of Northrup King, and has been a member of the Adams Farmers Union Co-op since 1971.  He is currently finishing a 3-year term as a Director of the Adams-Columbia Rural Electric Co-op.

    Home Grown Wisconsin (HGW)
    6067 McKee Road
    Madison WI 53719
    phone: 608-274-9095
    fax: same as phone


  •     Pincus says his interest in cooperatives began in 1970 when he helped found and manage Milwaukee’s Outpost Natural Foods Co-op.  After 13 years of homesteading, farming, and cooperating in the driftless region of southwestern Wisconsin, he moved to the Madison area in 1988 to attend UW, where he studied horticulture and plant breeding.  He now grows 20 acres of certified organic vegetables and berries, selling wholesale to food stores and restaurants and through farmers’ markets.  Currently President of the Board of Directors of HGW, a cooperative of organic vegetable producers whose products are distributed to upscale restaurants in Madison and Chicago, Pincus is also vice-president of the Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Assn.

    WISCO Cooperative
    401 South Hume Avenue
    P.O. Box 665
    Marshfield WI 54449
    phone: 715-387-3418
    fax: 715-387-0357


  •     WISCO is a WATDA-endorsed auto parts dealer-buying cooperative that improves the bottom line for its members (numbering 540 in 19990).  Since WISCO’s start in 1972, member dealers have bought over $51 million in wholesale parts, products and services -- and have earned nearly $2 million in patronage rebates from the co-op.  Dealersrealize savings of 30 to 60% on purchases from WISCO.
        WISCO was incorporated in 1972 by a group of farsighted Chevrolet dealers.  The program is simple.  There are no minimums to buy.  Members receive product catalogs and updates, toll-free phone calls for questions, pricing and ordering.

    Housing Grants Administrator
    Department of Administration
    Division of Housing
    101 East Wilson Street
    P.O. Box 8944
    Madison WI 53708-8944
    phone: 608-267-6905
    fax: 608-267-6917


  •     Ramirez is a Housing Grants Administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Administration, and directs the Self-Help Housing Program.  The Program coordinates a method of construction in which labor participation replaces financial investment.  As founder of South Central WI Housing Corp., she orchestrated the construction of 300 Self-Help homes.

    Internet Specialist
    UW Center for Cooperatives
    224 Taylor Hall
    427 Lorch Street
    Madison WI 53706
    phone: 608-263-4775
    fax: 608-262-3251


  •     As an internet specialist with the UW Center for Cooperatives, Reynolds is responsible for the UWCC web site, the cooperative-bus e-mail discussion group, the cooperative library and other Center research and outreach projects.  She works with cooperatives on strategies for using the Internet effectively, and develops projects that take advantage of new technologies to increase communication and deliver information and training.
        Reynolds serves on the boards of The Cooperative Foundation, the Association of Cooperative Educators and Madison’s Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center.  Wil-Mar recently took over management of Children’s House, a nearby daycare center that was operated as an independent non-profit for 15 years.  As a board member, Reynolds was involved in planning the transition and reopening of the daycare center.  She currently serves as a liaison from the board to the parent advisory group.
        Before joining UWCC, Reynolds worked at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) as director of the Information Resource Center.  She helped create CUNA’s web site, assisted state credit union leagues in developing their own sites, and worked on the METEOR credit union electronic information and communication service.

    Chippewa County Housing Authority
    711 North Bridge Street, #14
    Chippewa Falls WI 54729
    phone: 715-726-7933
    fax: 715-726-7936


  •     Rosenow has been the Executive Director of the Chippewa County Housing Authority for the last 12 years, implementing a wide variety of housing programs to assist low and moderate income families in the county.  She holds a BA in Social Work.

    Professor and Director
    Center for Community Economics
    1327 University Avenue
    Madison WI 53715
    phone: 608-265-8140
    fax: 608-263-4999


  •     Shaffer teaches and does research in the area of Community Economics.  He teaches a graduate level course on Community Economic Analysis, helped organize a new masters program on Community Development, and his 1989 textbook is used by several North American universities.  He has published 28 articles in journals of regional science, community development, and economic development. He has authored chapters in 11 different books on local economic change.   His current research focuses on what types of firms are creating new jobs in Wisconsin, how capital markets are functioning in rural areas, and how families and communities made joint decisions regarding their common future.
        He has been working with the Rural Policy Research Institute on National Rural Development Policy analysis and issues since 1993.  His extension efforts have emphasized working with communities in Wisconsin to create economic development strategies.  He has worked in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Vermont, and Wyoming as well as Wisconsin on rural economic development policies, and has worked with the Albertan, Australian, Norwegian, and Ontario governments on their local economic development policies.
       Shaffer has been a faculty member at the UW-Madison since January 1972, and has served as Director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Community Economic Development since July 1, 1990.  He currently directs the National Rural Economic Development Institute which is part of the National Rural Development Partnership.

    Associate  Director
    Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
    Room F12 Agricultural Bulletin Building
    Madison WI 53706
    phone: 606-262-5202
    fax: 608-265-3020


  •     With a B.S. in History at the U.W.-Madison, M.S. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Minnesota, Stevenson describes himself as a sociologist; currently an associate scientist at UW-Madison.  He was on the faculty of LaSalle University in Philadelphia for 15 years in 1970s and 1980s, and taught for several years at UW-Platteville  in the early and mid-1980s, when he was also a self-employed beef farmer in Lafayette County, Wisconsin.
        His current professional interests include multi-professional research teams, the intergenerational transfer of farming enterprises, regional food systems, and new roles for agriculture in rural economic development.

    Professor Emeritus
    U.W. Center for Cooperatives
    224 Taylor Hall
    427 Lorch Street
    Madison WI 53706
    phone: 608-262-3981
    fax: 608-262-3251


  •     Gar Stock is a Specialist in Management and Organization Development, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives (UWCC).  His specialty areas include: Management of human resources, with emphasis upon motivation and participative management (management by objectives) as a key to increasing individual and organizational productivity; supervisory skills training; and cooperative housing development.  He serves as coordinator of UWCC’s international programs.
        Stock’s international experience includes the following locations:  Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Greece, England, France, Jamaica, Mexico, and Indonesia.  He retired from a full-time position at UWCC in 1992.

    Westar Trade Resources
    2212 South Ong
    Amarillo TX 79109
    phone:  806-342-0444
    fax: 806-342-0445


  •     Westar Trade Resources is organized to develop new domestic and international businesses, and provides consulting services to develop agricultural value-added manufacturing companies, from start-up through expansion.  They conduct strategic research projects for clients, including feasibility studies, international marketing sales, assembly of business plans to attract investors, and assist in obtaining financing and raising capital.  They’ve assisted rural communities and companies in developing a $10 million tannery, developed and managed a $4 million strawboard plant, and more in the last three years.
        Thyfault has 18 years business experience in development and management of agricultural value-added mfg. projects, building projects, and consumer goods.  A graduate of West Texas A&M, she has published articles in the Rural Cooperatives Magazine .

    Deputy Administrator, Cooperative Services
    Rural Business-Cooperative Services
    U.W.-Department of Agriculture
    Washington DC xxxxx
    phone:  202-720-7558
    fax: 202-720-4641


  •     Torgerson became Administrator of the USDA’s cooperative program in 1975 when it was known as Farmer Cooperative Service.  He came to USDA in 1974 as a staff economist to the administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.  Prior to that, he had been a faculty member at the University of Missouri-Columbia; he helped organize the Missouri Institute of Cooperatives, and served as executive secretary from 1969-73.  He also helped form and served as executive secretary of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership from 1971-74.  As Deputy Administrator of Cooperative Services, Torgerson directs the research and technical assistance efforts of a staff of 43 people, primarily agricultural economists and cooperative specialists.  He lectures frequently and is a prolific writer of articles, speeches, editorials, and position papers on group action in agriculture.  He has authored two books.

    Professor and Executive Director
    Cooperative Development Initiative
    UW-River Falls
    410 South Third Street.
    River Falls, WI 54022-5001
    phone: 715-425-3129
    fax: 715-425-4479


  • Trechter has a dual appointment in the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Rural Development Institute at UW-River Falls, with 80 percent of his appointment with UW Cooperative Extension and 20 percent in teaching.   His Extension programs focus on the financial and personnel aspects of agribusiness management with an emphasis on cooperative business.
        Trechter is active in his work for the Kellogg Foundation and for the USDA’s Fund for Rural America to promote the use of the cooperative model as a tool for rural development.  He has been a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls since 1990.  Before that he worked for the Congressional Budget Office in Washington D.C., primarily on issues relating to the Farm Credit System, and for the USDA’s Economic Research Service.  He served as a foreign officer with the Department of State in Cameroon, West Africa before that, and earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, a MS in Food Science, and a BA in Economics and History.

    Superior Shores Cooperative
    Suite 202
    153 South Second Street
    Medford WI 54451-1810
    phone: 715-748-2008
    fax: 715-748-4841


  •     With an MBA in management and a BS in forestry, Witherspoon is the Coordinator of Pri-Ru-Ta Resource Conservation and Development Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Medford, Wisconsin.  The Resource Conservation and Development program is the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service rural economic development initiative providing support in agriculture, natural resources and rural development across the state.
        The Superior Shores Agricultural Cooperative, Inc. (SSAC) of Ashland-Bayfield counties formed in 1995 with the assistance of Pri-Ru-Ta RC&D Council.  SSAC brought together dairy, fruit and specialty agricultural producers in a new generation cooperative for development, production and marketing of value-added dairy-fruit yogurt based products.  SSAC offers investors the opportunity  to support northern Wisconsin agricultural through public sales of preferred, non-voting stock.  Producer- members own voting, common stock.  A new effort is under way to assist Bayfield County lamb producers to organize into a new generation cooperative, incorporated in Wisconsin as well.  Investigation is taking place to develop value-added lamb products as well.  Pri-Ru-Ta RC&D Council services include technical assistance, fiscal services, grant writing and administrating and access to all USDA programs.

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