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Rural Cooperatives

Information about various aspects of rural cooperatives, including economic issues, cooperative business principles, cooperative financing, cooperative management, leadership and governance of cooperatives can be found below. The information is pertinent to more than just agricultural cooperatives, but can also be helpful for new and existing cooperatives related to childcare, consumers, energy, finances, healthcare, housing, and labor.

Materials posted below were originally posted on the website for the Rural Cooperatives Center, which closed June 30, 2007.

  • What is a Cooperative?
    Definition, principles of cooperatives, types of cooperatives, history, and discussion of "New Generation Cooperatives"
  • Starting a Cooperative
    Basic steps for starting a cooperative, as well as links to assist in creating a feasibility study and finding financing.
  • Publications about Cooperatives 
    Extensive list of cooperative-related publications, most available by free download.