Malatya Haber Students attend College Conference on Cooperatives
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Students attend College Conference on Cooperatives


Eighteen agricultural students and their professors from four different Nebraska Colleges traveled to Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 14 to 17 to learn about cooperatives under the guidance of Nebraska Farmers Union. The participating colleges included the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Northeast Community College at Norfolk, Southeast Community College at Beatrice, and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis. The College Conference on Cooperatives brought a total of 97 students from 32 different Midwestern colleges and universities making it the largest College Conference on Cooperatives held to date.

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 a host of different ways cooperatives can serve communities, 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 47 percent of the students in attendance were from farms or ranches, 31 percent were rural, 12 percent were from small towns, and the remaining 10 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 rural youth stay in their communities. We are pleased to partner with these Nebraska colleges to help send 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. Nebraska Farmers Union was awarded a grant from the CHS Foundation to help defray the attendance costs for the Nebraska participants.

Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with 6,200 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 440 cooperatives.

Date: 3/11/2013


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