5 ways co-ops make rural America stronger
Co-ops make rural America stronger by partnering to support local communities and students.
Cooperatives are a cornerstone of rural America. Here’s how CHS and our member cooperatives are empowering agriculture and making communities across rural America stronger.
- Supporting rural communities
Concern for community is one of the key cooperative principles. Cooperatives support local projects that are important to their farmer-owners and the communities in which they operate. In 2021, CHS partnered with 77 cooperatives to match their contributions to local projects, impacting more than 135 rural communities.
- Keeping rural families safe
Agriculture can be a dangerous business. Cooperatives are committed to keeping rural workers and families safe. Cooperative employees often serve on local fire departments, volunteering their time to help teach farm families how to stay safe. Since 2019, CHS has provided support for nearly 30,000 youth to attend safety days to learn lifesaving ag health and safety lessons, and many cooperatives host safety days in their communities.
- Teaching students about ag careers
The future of agriculture depends on the next generation pursuing careers in agriculture. That’s why the CHS Foundation supports programing that includes scholarships for students studying agriculture-related areas and supports programs that immerse urban and suburban youth in agriculture. In 2021, these programs helped more than 15,000 students learn about ag careers.
- Giving our time when it’s needed most
Whether it’s being the first on the scene when disaster strikes, stocking local food bank shelves or assisting a local FFA chapter, cooperative employees are quick to volunteer their time. CHS employees spent nearly 18,000 hours volunteering in 2021. The impact grows through the thousands of hours volunteered by employees at hundreds of cooperatives across the U.S.
- Maintaining a place for cooperatives in the rural landscape
Cooperatives play a unique role in rural America by contributing to rural economies and putting money back into rural communities. The cooperative system is keeping the cooperative spirit alive by investing time and money to educate about the unique benefits of doing business with and working for cooperatives. In 2021, the CHS Foundation invested more than $700,000 in cooperative education programs across 20 states.