It seems like farmers everywhere are excited by the Cooperative business structure model and for a good reason: Cooperatives are businesses embodying the principle of “one member, one vote.” Fortunately, we have a helpful resource for you. Check out our Chapter 9: Cooperative Fundamentals (16pgs.) of our Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures. Learn the basics of this democratically-oriented business structure, including practical guidance on how to form and maintain a cooperative entity for your farm.
When it comes to hashing out the details of cooperative bylaws and formation, we recommend working with a regional cooperative development organization. Many of them provide hands-on guidance from cooperative business experts including business planning and formation support. Your local Extension agent is likely familiar with local cooperative planning assistance, as well.