The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Celebrate Cooperatives this October

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The Wisconsin Ag Connection encourages Americans to celebrate cooperatives this month:

Wisconsin kicks off Cooperative Month in October, there is new evidence that people prefer to do business with cooperatives over investor-owned businesses. That’s according to Cooperative Network, which commissioned a survey through the St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute that shows 47 percent of consumers in Wisconsin and Minnesota indicated they were members of a cooperative, of which 74 percent said that they were more likely to choose cooperatives over other businesses based on their past experiences.
The survey of 400 people also found that nearly half of the respondents indicated that there was at least one family member who belonged to a co-op. And 69 percent of people who ran a business within their home were also members of a cooperative.
“Minnesota and Wisconsin have a rich cooperative history and are home to nearly 2,000 cooperative businesses–one of the highest concentrations in the U.S.,” said Bill Oemichen, president and CEO of Cooperative Network, which represents the interests of co-ops in both states. “Communities in these states have formed more than 30 types of co-ops to care for our children, bring electricity to our homes, put wholesome food on our tables and so much more.”
Oemichen says Wisconsin was one of the first states to enact a law authorizing cooperatives in 1887.
Meanwhile, Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed October as Cooperative Month in the state. He says co-ops play a major role in Wisconsin’s economy, annually recording about $8.6 billion in revenue, employing approximately 19,000 Wisconsin residents and paying nearly $780 million in wages and benefits each year.
The theme of this year’s Cooperative Month is: “Collaborate, Communicate, Cooperate.”

Author: Daniela

I will forever be grateful that I was introduced to the utility and beauty of hand crafted products early in life - from the symbolic motifs sewn into the coarse linen fabric of Croatian traditional wear to the colorful Kilim carpets that decorated the parquet floors in my grandmother's living room. I treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," the smell of the flower stalls in the open air market where my grandmother bought produce early every morning for the day’s meals and the summers spent at my great grandmother's where the village wags would come to gossip over thick, black Turkish coffee in her cool stone kitchen. Someone noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world - one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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