2014 Scholarship Winner’s Cooperative Essays Part 2

As a part of our Scholarship Program at MidAtlantic Farm Credit, each year, we present 12 scholarship awards to ambitious students that are ready to take scholarshipthe next step in furthering their education. These students have demonstrated excellence in their schoolwork as well as outside the classroom. Part of the scholarship application involves answering essay questions. You may have seen our previous posts this month, featuring some of the great essay answers from a few of our 2014 Scholarship Winners, however, we received so many that we couldn’t fit them all in one post! We asked our scholarship applicants to tell us why and how cooperatives are important to the Ag industry, and here’s what they had to say:

By: Joshua Brubaker, 2014 Scholarship Winner from Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

“There are many benefits from cooperatives that make farmers more efficient and economically viable. Farmers joining together to perform tasks makes it easier and more cost efficient for everyone. Cooperatives can include farmers coming together to collectively buy the crops needed to feed their livestock or coming together to buy equipment that can be shared, which brings down the cost per farmer. Another cooperative could include many farmers shipping their milk collectively to cut down the transportation costs and increase their milk price by marketing power. This will continue to be a big part in the future of agriculture, because the world population growing, meaning the demand for food is also growing. The farmers are then put up with the task of supplying for this growing demand. A world market for commodities and food means aggressive competition in the global marketplace. Cooperatives allow the individual farmer to compete at a high level. In the future, farmers will have to increase their involvement in cooperatives to supply the world with more food in a profitable manner. The reality is that one farmer cannot do it all, but instead, needs the support of cooperatives, relationships, and partnerships to be successful in agriculture in the future.”

By: Claire Linton, 2014 Scholarship Winner from Martinsburg, West Virginia

“Growing up on a large dairy farm my family has dealt with many cooperatives on a daily basis, from the company that delivers and markets our milk, to the financial lending institution that lends us money when it is time to purchase seed. Cooperatives have supported the family farm for years, but the future of farming is changing rapidly. It is beneficial for cooperatives to have owner/stockholders work together, that way a common goal can be obtained. The economy is unstable in many markets right now, so for the family farmer it is imperative that on the financial end of the industry, there are people in positions that understand how each aspect of agriculture truly functions. For our family it makes a huge difference to be able to walk into our financial cooperative, our feed/seed and supply cooperative and our dairy cooperative and actually know the people who are working for us. I believe anytime a business actually listens to its owner/stockholders, agriculture will continue to be competitive in the world markets, and thrive in today’s economy.”

By: John Gordy, 2014 Scholarship Winner from Snow Hill, Maryland

“Cooperatives such as Farm Credit are very important and beneficial to the future of agriculture because without cooperatives, it is very possible that small farmers would become extinct. Farming is a business where it is very easy to lose everything with a bad season due to drought. By having cooperatives, this gives some protection to small farmers that allows for them to carry on for another year without being engulfed by major farming franchises… Cooperatives are essential to the future of agriculture because they provide a beneficial support that allows’ for farmers to take a chance and to continue farming even after a bad year of harvest. Without the reliability of cooperatives, small farmers would be less willing to plant more crops because of the fear of losing all they have. Cooperatives are beneficial because they provide support and encouragement to small farmers to continue farming.”

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