Farmer Co-ops Conference to focus on cooperative strategy and finance

Registration is underway for the 11th Annual Farmer Cooperatives Conference, to be held Nov. 18 – 19, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Presented by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, the topic of this year’s conference is “Cooperative Strategy, Structure, and Finance.”

“Today’s farmer cooperatives must pursue growth opportunities to remain competitive, and simultaneously assume more risk to meet supply chain cost pressures,” explained Anne Reynolds, assistant director of the UW Center for Cooperatives. “The equity and capital management issues that result are major drivers for a cooperative’s strategic planning and decision-making process.”

The conference includes presentations on supply chain and risk management by top co-op executives, case studies illustrating cooperative structural strategies by academic experts, and updates on current legal and financial issues.

The national conference, Reynolds noted, provides a unique forum for cooperative board members, CEOs, and others doing business with agricultural cooperatives to come together to explore these issues and share insights.

The annual program is organized by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, with assistance from a national planning commit¬tee of cooperative scholars and practitioners. This year’s conference is made possible by the generous support from sponsors including CoBank, Farm Foundation, CHS Foundation, Dorsey and Whitney LLP, Land O’Lakes, Lindquist & Vennum PLLP, Stoel Rives LLP, The Cooperative Foundation, NCFC Educational Foundation, West Central Cooperative, Clifton Gunderson, and Growmark.

The annual meeting of NCERA-210, which promotes and coordinates research on agricultural cooperatives, will follow the Farmer Cooperatives Conference on Nov. 19 and 20, at the same location.

Further conference and registration information is available on the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives website at . Questions about the conference can be directed to Anne Reynolds, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, 608-263-4775,