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 Directors

Critical Issues in Governance

Unallocated Equity

Adequate Equity


Human Resources

Characteristics of the Best Cooperatives