An Inventory of Educational Resources for Directors of U.S. Agricultural Cooperatives
Henehan, Brian M.; Schmit, Todd M.
Understanding the roles and responsibilities of cooperative boards of directors continues to be of growing importance as operations become more complex, increase in size and/or scope, and adapt to a global marketplace. Given the current challenges in becoming or serving as a director of an agricultural cooperative in today’s competitive market, directors need to have the best information and preparation available to fulfill their responsibilities. There are a number of universities, organizations, and public entities across the U.S. that produce or deliver educational programs for directors of cooperatives. However, the availability of this information is oftentimes unknown beyond a cooperative’s current geographic region or professional affiliations. In addition, there are a growing number of farmer cooperatives that have operations and directors located across the U.S. Given the commonality of educational and training needs for today’s agricultural cooperatives, the availability of a centralized clearinghouse of training resources and programs would be an efficient and beneficial tool for cooperatives in accessing the latest resources available. To facilitate this process, the development of an up-to-date inventory of resources for cooperative directors was initiated by a request from the board of directors of the Northeast Cooperative Council (NECC). NECC is a non-profit organization comprised of twenty agricultural cooperatives operating in New York and New England. Although most of the NECC members are headquartered in the region, a number of NECC member cooperatives have operations and directors located across the U.S. The purpose of this inventory is to offer a centralized source of information on current educational events and publications available to directors of agricultural cooperatives in the U.S. The director training inventory will be characterized by training program topics, timing and availability, and supplemental written and electronic educational publications. The tool kit will provide a timely resource for cooperatives looking for particular director training programs. We consider this report as a working document, subject to revision on a continuing basis. The authors do not assume that this directory includes all of the resources available. It is expected that the inventory will be updated and expanded on as needed to include any programs or entities that we have missed or new programs that are developed. Please contact either Brian Henehan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Todd Schmit (email@example.com) with any additions, corrections, or updates.