Cooperative value

Cooperative value

Cooperatives give farmers and ranchers a greater voice and presence through pooled resources. Cooperatives strengthen communities and help make farm and ranch businesses stronger with local expertise and access to global markets.

What is a cooperative?

Cooperatives are built on principles rooted in collaboration, democracy, economic participation and social responsibility. They are owned and governed by members who use their products, supplies or services, and they exist to provide value for their members. In a cooperative system, people come together to advocate for owners’ needs, increase buying power, access goods and services, and create economic opportunity.

The Cooperative Difference

The cooperative model

Cooperatives are owned and controlled by their members. Member-owners have a voice in how the cooperative operates. Meet two young owners contributing to the future of their co-op.  

Member-owners have a voice

Anyone who uses a cooperative’s services can be a member. Members share in ownership and each member has an equal vote. Read more about one member who works to strengthen her co-op.

Benefits of ownership

Cooperatives create opportunityRead about how one co-op creates market opportunities for its members. When a cooperative is profitable, members earn patronage – a dividend paid to members based on the amount of eligible products or services purchased from the cooperative.

Strengthening the community

Cooperatives are actively engaged in the communities they serve. Because owners are members of the community, cooperatives have a vested interest in community development and giving back. Read about how cooperatives and their owners are keeping cooperative spirit alive and well in rural America. 

Explore the benefits of cooperative ownership

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Learn more about cooperatives

C, the magazine of CHS, showcases the strength of the cooperative model through stories about member-owners, market access and community spirit.

Read the latest issue

CHS Cooperative Resources

Our team provides member cooperatives with strategy, talent and leadership solutions.

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Advocacy

CHS is committed to influencing state and federal policies impacting agriculture.

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Principles

Cooperatives are structured around a set of core principles that guide their operations.

Explore principles