Happy Cooperative Month!
By: Meaghan Malinowski, marketing specialist
October has finally arrived bringing the promise of turning leaves, chilly weather, and an excuse to drink as much hot apple cider as possible, can it get any better? Of course it can! October also happens to be Cooperative Month, celebrating the cooperative business model and providing an opportunity to educate our communities about what a cooperative is.
A cooperative is similar to other businesses in many ways, looking to maximize their profits and to achieve continual growth, however there is one major characteristic that makes a cooperative unique: it is owned by the people who use it. At MidAtlantic Farm Credit we believe that is what makes us special and many of our member-borrowers think so too. Our Patronage Program allows us to return a portion of the association’s profits back to our customers, something you don’t see with every lender. We pride ourselves on working hard all year long because when we do well, so do you!
We aren’t the only ones that appreciate what cooperatives can do for our communities; we asked our 2014 scholarship applicants to tell us why and how they think cooperatives are beneficial to the future of agriculture and they came up with some great ideas.
By: Amber Donoway, 2014 Scholarship Winner
“Cooperatives are important because it is a group of people working together with the same ideas to achieve the same goal. Cooperatives are supportive to the future of agriculture because it helps give a full understanding of agricultural needs and necessities and we are connected by a good understanding and livelihood of the financial needs of people in agriculture. Therefore, cooperatives are made so we can all support our agricultural community in a positive way with people that cherish farming the same way you do.”
By: Allyson Balmer, 2014 Scholarship Winner
“Cooperatives are a benefit to the future of agriculture because of the financial gain they provide for the local farmers. I say this because a cooperative is a business or organization that is owned and run solely by its’ members who all share the profits and benefits. As the agriculture industry continues to move forward with the science and technology needed to feed the 7.1 billion people on the planet, it becomes costly to farmers. It also allows for the distribution of risk which no farmer wants to bear on their own because of the potential of financial instability. When farmers band together and help one another through cooperatives, farmers are more likely to have success because of the profits, benefits, and expenses are equally distributed among the members of the cooperative.”
Check back to our blog the rest of the month to read what our other scholarship winners have to say about cooperatives and how they can help the ag industry!