Michigan Small and Emerging Cooperative Conference

Find out mutual business needs that can be met by cooperatives at a free conference offered at three Michigan locations.

Cooperatives are a type of corporation. The “shareholders” are the members who use the resources of the cooperative. Additionally, they participate in voting for the board of directors (usually made up of mostly members). The board of directors directs the operations of the co-op to meet the needs of the members and is mostly concerned with the long-term success of the business. Many cooperatives hire a general manager to oversee the day to day operations. Profits (operating surpluses) are shared by the members in proportion to the patronage (utilization) of each member and maybe retained within the business or paid, as determined by the board of the cooperative.

The conference is for directors and members of small and recently organized cooperatives as well as anyone contemplating starting a cooperative or other type of association. Attendees will be provided with information about basic cooperative operation, types of cooperatives; the roles of directors, managers and members, and basics for starting and sustaining a cooperative or association. Other topics will deal with financing, legal issues, and business planning. The program provides plenty of time for networking and input from the participants into issues and opportunities for cooperatives in Michigan. Many of the sessions will be conducted by Michigan State University Extension educators. 

The Michigan State University Product Center Food-Ag-Bio, through its USDA-funded Michigan Cooperative Development Program is co-sponsoring a conference for small and emerging cooperatives at three different locations in Michigan on March 17, 18 and 19, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The locations are:

  • Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center
    6686 S. Center Highway, Traverse City, Michigan on March 17
  • Cabela’s
    110 Cabela Boulevard East, Dundee, Michigan on March 18
  • Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center
    1791 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, Michigan on March 19

Other sponsors are CoBank and the Mid America Cooperative Council.

For more information, registration, maps and directions to the facilities, visit the conference registration page. Contact Mark Thomas for additional information.

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