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Cooperatives in Your Community

Contact:     Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
        900 2nd St. NE Suite 205, Washington DC 20002

The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) Releases

Cooperatives in Your Community’ Teaching Modules

December 16, 2014 – Washington, DC - The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE – is pleased to release “Cooperatives in Your Community”, a set of teaching modules for high school students about the economics of cooperatives. The teaching modules are hosted on the Council for Economic Education’s (CEE) EconEdLink website. C-FARE received technical support from the CEE, a world leader in economic and financial education for K-12 students. The CEE is a supporting partner and provided technical assistance via peer review. The CHS Foundation, a charitable organization that supports giving on behalf of CHS Inc., the nation's leading cooperative, owned by farmers, ranchers and co-ops, provided support essential for project success.

The teaching modules cover two themes in cooperatives education—consumer cooperatives and agricultural cooperatives. In the first lesson, which focuses on consumer cooperatives, author Dr. Barbara O’Neill, Distinguished Professor and Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management at Rutgers University Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (DAFRE) includes materials that cover the seven cooperatives principles, properties of credit unions, and much more. This module includes seven activities for teachers to choose from as they plan their lessons as well as a pre- and post- quiz.

Teachers who tested the modules in their classrooms stated that although students may study cooperatives as part of the information covering types of business organization, the cooperatives module adds depth to their understanding. One teacher said that, “The lesson on consumer cooperatives was an excellent segue from the economics textbook we currently use—the textbook provides only cursory information on cooperatives.”

The second module provides a comprehensive view on agricultural cooperatives. The author, Dr. Sanjib Bhuyan, Associate Professor in DAFRE, provides insights about agricultural cooperatives in a dynamic global marketplace. The module describes the types of agricultural cooperatives and provides action-packed guidance for students on how to develop their own cooperative. The lesson also includes references, vocabulary and four activity options.

Both teaching modules are designed to take no more than 180 minutes of class time. Each can be adapted according to the use and needs of the instructor. Teachers enjoy the modules because they provides students with new perspectives on business careers and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The modules were developed over two years, including a rigorous peer review and field-test process. Reviewers included experts in cooperatives, leaders at state councils of economic education, agricultural education experts, and high school instructors.

Sponsors also included Rutgers University Department of Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (DAFRE), Southern States Cooperative, and in-kind support from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Please contact for more information.

C-FARE is a nonprofit that promotes the work of applied economists and serves as a catalyst for incorporating economic thinking into the analysis of food, agricultural and resource decisions.

Last updated: December 16, 2014