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NFU sponsors student attendance at cooperative conference


Thirteen agricultural students and their professors from three different Nebraska Colleges traveled to Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 17 to 20 to learn about cooperatives under the guidance of Nebraska Farmers Union. The participating colleges included Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Southeast Community College in Beatrice, and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. The College Conference on Cooperatives brought a total of 85 students from 24 different Midwestern colleges and universities.

The cooperative conference included tours of the CHS (Cenex Harvest States) Headquarters, the REI Sports Sales Coop, housing coops, food coops, and the Mill City Flour Museum. The Conference brought in speakers from a vast array of areas including renewable energy, ag coops, rural electric coops, credit unions, and new coops. NEFU Public Affairs Director Graham Christensen said, "We had another great conference. The feedback we received from the students and professors was very positive. The students learned about many different kinds of cooperatives new to them, and the wide range of career opportunities available that utilize the benefits of the cooperative approach to economic development. Everyone left Minneapolis excited about these new opportunities."

The conference evaluations revealed that 70 percent of the students in attendance were from farms or ranches, 14 percent were rural, 10 percent were from small towns, and the remaining 6 percent were urban. Christensen said, "The College Cooperative Conference helps make more students aware of additional cooperative tools that can be used to create the economic opportunities needed to help our youth stay in rural communities. We are pleased to partner with these Nebraska colleges to help send more Nebraska kids to this conference."

The annual College Cooperative Conference is co-sponsored by the CHS Foundation in cooperation with the National Farmers Union Foundation. The CHS Foundation awarded the Nebraska Farmers Union a grant to help defray the attendance costs for the Nebraska participants.

Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with 5,288 farm and ranch family members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers, and their rural communities. Since 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union has helped organize over 436 cooperatives.

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