Agricultural Cooperatives: Economics, Opportunities and Structure in a New Era of Food, Fiber and Fuel

Phil Kenkel
Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University
Cooperative businesses are an important part of the U.S. economy and are particularly prevalent in the agricultural sector. Cooperatives operate under a business model that generates unique challenges in finance management, governance, strategy and communication. These unique challenges and the prevalence of cooperatives in U.S. agriculture have encouraged research and education efforts by agricultural economists since the early 1900’s. Cooperatives were included as a part of the mission of the Cooperative

Communications

Phil Kenkel

Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University

In a recent national project, academic researchers, cooperative managers and members, USDA, agricultural foundations and other stakeholders collaborated to identify the critical issues facing agricultural cooperatives. A two-stage Delphi survey was conducted, followed by expert panel sessions in Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The material below summarizes some of the findings from the project.

Cooperatives are owned and controlled by a diverse set of users. They also operate under a unique …

External Issues Facing Cooperatives

Phil Kenkel

Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University

In a recent national project, academic researchers, cooperative managers and members, USDA, agricultural foundations and other stakeholders collaborated to identify the critical issues facing agricultural cooperatives. A two-stage Delphi survey was conducted, followed by expert panel sessions in Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The material below summarizes some of the findings from the project.

Market Volantility
Wide spectrums of issues both external and internal to the firm impact the competitiveness, stability …

Critical Issues Facing Cooperatives

Phil Kenkel

Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University

In a recent national project, academic researchers, cooperative managers and members, USDA, agricultural foundations and other stakeholders collaborated to identify the critical issues facing agricultural cooperatives. A two-stage Delphi survey was conducted, followed by expert panel sessions in Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some of the findings from the project are summarized under the topics below.

Project Background

External Issues Facing Cooperatives

Need for Strategic Planning

Challenges for the Board of

Phil Kenkel

photo of Phil Kenkel

Phil Kenkel is a Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University and holds the Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair. The Chair programs also include traditional and on-line sections of an undergraduate cooperative class and assistance with cooperative internship manager trainee programs. Dr. Kenkel has authored more than 200 research and extension publications, presented over 100 papers at professional meetings and conducted training sessions on producer-owned businesses in five countries. He is a member of the NCERA-210 Research Committee on Cooperatives and is …

Characteristics of the Best Cooperatives

By Phil Kenkel, Vice Chair, Cooperatives CoP and Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University, phil.kenkel@okstate.edu.

In a recent national project, academic researchers, cooperative managers and members, USDA, agricultural foundations and other stakeholders collaborated to identify the critical issues facing agricultural cooperatives. A two-stage Delphi survey was conducted, followed by expert panel sessions in Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The material below summarizes some of the findings from the project.

During the Critical Issues Pre-Conference of the Farmers Cooperative …

Identifying and Recruiting Skilled Board Members

By Phil Kenkel, Vice Chair, Cooperatives CoP and Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University, phil.kenkel@okstate.edu.

In a recent national project academic, researchers, cooperative managers and members, USDA, agricultural foundations and other stakeholders collaborated to identify the critical issues facing agricultural cooperatives.  A two-stage Delphi survey was conducted, followed by expert panel sessions in Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The material below summarizes some of the findings from the project

Identifying and recruiting quality directors with essential skills are …

The Section 199 Deduction and Patronage Calculations

By Phil Kenkel, Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University.

There is generally a gap between tax-based net income and book-based net income. While the IRS prefers to use taxable income as the patronage base, cooperatives can calculate patronage on either a tax or a book basis. Patronage refunds originated with the Rochdale principles, which stated “net margins distributed according to patronage.” This concept is reflected in Subchapter T of the IRS tax code, which lays out three basic criteria …

The Tax versus Book Accounting Gap

By Phil Kenkel

Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University

Financial accounting and tax accounting have different goals. Financial accounting strives to provide owners and managers with an accurate picture of the firm’s economic position. The tax code is created to raise money for the government. Legislators use the tax code to provide economic incentives for targeted activities. These differences create a gap between book and tax measures of earnings. One difference is depreciation. This is an example of a …

Depreciating Fixed Assets

By Phil Kenkel, Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University.

Fixed assets are a necessary evil for agricultural cooperatives. Along with fixed assets comes the topic of depreciation. Depreciation can be thought of in at least three ways. The layman’s concept of depreciation is the decline in market value with use or obsolescence. We all expect a truck to depreciate when we drive if off the lot. That’s a great example to explain depreciation to teenagers but doesn’t help us …