Cooperatives in Minnesota

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Minnesota Cooperatives - What Are They & How Do They Work?

Minnesota cooperatives, or co-ops, have been in existence for quite a while serving people and businesses for the betterment of the community. Cooperatives are Minnesota businesses owned by the people who utilize them. Depending on classification, they either provide certain services or foods to those within the community. Individuals who are a part of a cooperative benefit by helping, not only themselves, but others as well.

They provide necessary components to the economy. For instance, agriculture cooperatives are controlled and owned by the user, typically farmers. Farmers have the ability to join what are known as marketing cooperatives and charge more for the products but less for their marketing, attracting business. Those buying the products benefit on the fact that they are purchasing fresher, healthier products.

Minnesota Cooperatives - Group Classifications

Minnesota Co-ops has sorted out into groups including;

  • Marketing Cooperatives
  • Purchasing Cooperatives
  • Service Cooperatives
  • Food Cooperatives

Within these classifications you'll find more specialized cooperatives in Minnesota such as;

  • child care
  • health
  • utilities
  • credit union
  • housing
  • worker
  • agriculture
  • dairy  

Each one of these offers inexpensive alternatives to those who are a member of the cooperative. Members have the option of electing a board of directors. The board of directors oversees activities inside the cooperative.

Consortium child care cooperatives are also provided within industrial parks. This helps parents in MN place their child within a daycare that is relatively close to their job and often at a lower rate than most daycares. Even though it is the businesses who provide the initial funding to start this kind of service, it still revolves back to those that own the daycare electing their own board of directors. It's the owner of the company and its members that provide all the decisions and ultimately choose how it's ran.

A good example of how utility cooperatives can work for their members is Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative Company. This business offers telephone service to its members who hold shares within the company and at the end of every year each member receives a portion of that profit sharing. This not only entices others to become members and pay their bill on time regularly, but also benefits both the company and those that they provide service to.

Minnesota electric and telephone cooperatives provide their services to people while hearing members voices. The members can voice their concerns and suggest what they want changed as it is them who determine precisely what goes on within that cooperative.


Membership in Minnesota Cooperatives

 Members of a Minnesota cooperative have a large list of responsibilities that they must follow. They have to make sure that all of the relevant laws are met and followed by its members. They must appoint or removed directors on an appropriate basis. Members must know what their cooperative delivers and acquaint them self with services in order to better serve others. You must be able to meet customer satisfaction in order to run efficiently, effectively and profitably.

There are instances when cooperatives in Minnesota must choose to combine with other businesses in order to expand their services or dissolve on the grounds that there is not enough supply and demand of their services. The definitive role of the members can be difficult and yet it is necessary that they are knowledgeable and able to make those decisions.

Cooperatives in Minnesota are an important part of people's everyday lives. By giving goods and services to their members, they're offering a mutually beneficial option. Without cooperatives, nearly 26 million people in America would be without the electric services that these places provide. Over 100 million Americans would be hard pressed to find affordable goods and services and all the net worth that these cooperatives pull in together would be lost.

It's crucial to have these in our lives in order to maintain a balance between affordable and quality in our lives. Individuals are brought together in a cooperative group in order to run a business that will provide quality services to those in need while maintaining the right to make decisions about their company as a whole. That is what makes Minnesota cooperatives so unique amongst the rest in today's times.