#338. Co-ops and Rural Rebirth

Posted on | The Agurban

Co-ops and Rural Rebirth

We received a great publication, the Cooperative Business Journal, from Andrew McLeod, Communications Specialist with the National Cooperative Business Association. The Feature Story in the January/February 2011 issue was of particular interest to us: Co-ops & Rural Rebirth – Co-ops Thrive in the Heartland, by Nancy Jorgensen.

Ms. Jorgensen states, “The real estate and financial crises spurring the recession hit hard on the nation’s coastlines and the Southwest, where speculative investment was concentrated. Heartland businesses from the Dakotas to Oklahoma and Missouri aren’t immune to this national crisis… Their success can be explained not only by their location, but also by new technologies, the region’s work ethic, and the co-op way of doing business.”

A few comments throughout the article caught our eye, including this one about the energy, high-tech, and telecommunications industries that are booming around the world, but particularly in the Heartland:Beyond a strong ag-based economy, the Heartland enjoys one more advantage. Our…co-ops also credit their prosperity to the famous Heartland work ethic.

National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) President and CEO, Vern Dosch, commented, “In the tech industry, it’s not unusual to see a 25 percent turnover rate. Ours is just 3 percent a year.” NISC researches competitors’ salaries, figures in the cost of living – often lower in the Heartland – and compensates its crew accordingly. But Dosch also credits the Heartland lifestyle with keeping employees happy. When it comes to attracting talent, “We grow our own,” explains Dosch. “We hire people from the Midwest with aptitude and train them.”

The National Cooperative Business Association is the nation’s oldest and largest national membership association, representing cooperatives of all types and in all industries. Their comprehensive programs helps co-ops strengthen their businesses so they can better serve their members and transform the global economy.

We believe that cooperatives will continue to be successful in the Heartland and throughout our country. Learn more by visitingwww.ncba.coop.