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April 25, 2014 - CBJonline

 

April 25, 2014    
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Spotlight: Barry Silver, Cooperative Hall of Fame inductee

 

Since joining the National Cooperative Bank in 1980, Barry Silver has been an unstoppable force within the bank and industry in the development of cooperative programs. A walking educational resource, he is renowned for finding new and innovative ideas that benefit the cooperative community. Over the past 34 years, he has helped thousands of cooperatives obtain financing to succeed in business. 
 

He is consistently working to expand the reach cooperatives have in the community and was a major force in the creation of the Purchasing Co-op Conference leading to his acceptance of the NCBA “Honored Cooperator Award” in 2005. It was Silver’s passion for education of the cooperative model that led to NCB’s Co-op 100 – a list that sparked the International Cooperative Alliance’s Global 300 report.
 

Barry demonstrates a strong dedication within the co-op sector and over the years has served on numerous boards. He has also taken his knowledge of and commitment to the co-op model around the world working with credit unions in the Dominican Republic, the World Bank in China on educating leaders within the agricultural sector and partnering with USAID on cooperative and capital enhancement projects in Peru. He is also currently active in the expansion of Spain’s Mondragon Cooperative to the U.S. and serves as a board member of the International Cooperative Alliance and the executive committee of ACI Americas, representing cooperatives from the United

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[photo: Leo Mason/Corbis]

CCMA management to transition to NCBA CLUSA in 2015

After collaborative discussion and thorough review, the Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference, currently under the management of Ann Hoyt and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, will transition to NCBA CLUSA beginning in 2015. This decision provides a clear path for the continued success and enhancement of this vital conference.
 

[photo: Leo Mason/Corbis]“As NCBA CLUSA looks to the future, the vision is for the conference to grow deeper in content and wider in opportunity,” said Ann Hoyt, retiring conference director and NCBA CLUSA board member. “The CCMA partnership with NCBA CLUSA will provide the needed support and infrastructure to make that happen. “


Over the next year NCBA CLUSA


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Stronger Together profiles dedicated green business

 

This Earth Day, we wanted to highlight a dedicated green business. In a recent article published by Stronger Together, Jennifer New profiled the Elm City Market Food Co-op in a former food desert in New Haven, Connecticut. If you forget your reusable shopping bag at this co-op, just borrow one from a lending tree of cloth bags near the checkout stands, which are made from reclaimed Berkshire barn wood.
 

Turing a dollar into platinum 


Just a buck – that’s how much it cost to put Elm City Market Food Co-op on the ground floor of a new venture that would bring natural and organic foods to downtown New Haven, Connecticut. Because the most densely-populated urban area in the state had been a food desert for decades, the city’s caveat for its meager price


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  THUMB 01 Smallholder millet farmers in Senegal see higher crop yields, rising profits
 

Once considered a subsistence crop, millet is now the key to higher crop yields and rising profits for some nine thousand smallholder farmers in Senegal, thanks to an agricultural value chain project implemented by NCBA CLUSA.
 

Launched in 2009, the five-year, US$4 million project spurred millet value chain development in Senegal’s Peanut Basin—the source of three quarters of the country’s grain and peanut production and home to the Serer ethnic group.
 

Through the Millet Value Chain Project, NCBA CLUSA demonstrated and helped smallholder farmers adopt new agricultural techniques. These methods ranged from conservation farming to composting. Beneficiaries learned ways to prevent Striga, a parasitic weed that attacks millet and other cereal crops. The project also recommended the use of inorganic fertilizer, such as phosphate, to help jumpstart crop growth early in the growing
 

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  THUMB 01 Land reclamation empowers women, improves livelihoods in Niger


 

It’s the hot season in Niger. The sun filters through the millet stalk roof of the shade hangar we sit beneath. Ramatou Yaye, a 48-year-old mother of six, gestures behind her to a large garden protected by durable fencing.
 

“It used to be that my family ate vegetables only one season per year. Now, with the help of Arziki, we can eat and sell vegetables year-round. It has changed our lives,” she says.


Arziki, NCBA CLUSA’s USAID-funded Niger Food Security Program means “prosperity” in Niger’s local languages of Hausa and Zarma. This four-year, $12.7 million project works with small-holder farmers in Niger to enhance food security, improve adaption to climate change and increase livelihoods.
 

The garden in Gao Taweye—one of twenty started by the Arziki project in the Tilaberri region of Niger—is 1,500 square meters of previously unused land now run by a women’s


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  THUMB 01 Are You Showing your Co-opiness?

 


NCBA CLUSA is hosting an upcoming webinar on understanding “The Benefits of a United Co-op Identity” on April 29 from 10am -11am EST.  This free webinar will provide compelling reasons why your organization should have its own .coop domain and you'll receive the Cooperative Marque Brand Guidelines that outline your part in raising awareness of our collective identity.


Two dedicated cooperators from Domains.coop will present this webinar.  They bring years of experience in marketing and branding and will explain the merits of identifying with a global community:


Gareth Price


Gareth joined Domains.coop at the beginning of 2012 as Marketing and Administrative Coordinator.  Domains.coop has been operating as the largest


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NCBA CLUSA Upcoming Events
 

 
.coop: The benefits of a
united coop identity
April 29th, 2014 10:00 AM
through
11:00 AM
 

CCMA Conference May 7th, 2014 5:30 PM
 
2014 Cooperative Hall of Fame May 7th, 2014 5:30 PM
through
10:00 PM
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Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Visit our Website
 
About NCBA CLUSA
The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
 
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April 18, 2014 - CBJonline

 

   
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Spotlight: Harriet May, Co-op Hall of Fame Inductee

Harriet May is the former President & CEO of the Government Employees Credit Union (GECU)
 

As CEO of the Government Employees Credit Union, Harriet May understood the power of credit unions to improve the lives of low income and minority members of her El Paso, Texas community.

Harriet May began her career as a teller and rose to become the CEO of GECU – the largest locally owned financial institution in El Paso, Texas. She has been a cooperative leader at the state, national, and international levels. May led efforts to make home ownership more widely available by helping to establish an Affordable Housing Credit Union Service Organization. The CUSO’s results have been dramatic, impacting the lives of thousands in her community. She was an innovator in the area of financial literacy, even participating in a panel discussion with the President of the United States, and she worked across the border with Mexican officials in order to put in place a system of affordable remittance services. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has looked to May to valiantly defend the tax status of the U.S. credit union movement.


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Registration is now open! 2014 Purchasing Cooperatives Conference

 

Looking for an opportunity to meet industry icons, share best practices with colleagues and connect with potential partners in the purchasing and shared-services cooperative community? Register now for the 2014 NCBA CLUSA Purchasing Cooperative Conference, meeting September 8 to 10 at the Depot Renaissance Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Keynote speaker Dame Pauline Green, president of the International Cooperative Alliance, will challenge conference attendees to raise awareness of the cooperative business model, spurring its continued growth and status in the coming decades. Dame Green is the first woman president of the International Cooperative Alliance in its 116-year history.



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NCBA CLUSA Hosts First Webinar In Series With USDA

 

On April 11, 2014, NCBA CLUSA convened its inaugural webinar series with the USDA as Lillian Salerno, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service in the department's Rural Development Agency, presented, while President and CEO Michael Beall moderated. NCBA CLUSA is organizing this ongoing webinar series with the USDA to help bring the cooperative stakeholder community together to hear directly from Administrator Salerno and her staff on the many ongoing changes and strategic direction her agency is undertaking as it implements many administration and department priorities and initiatives, including the recent Farm Bill.



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Are You Showing Your CO-OPINESS?

 

NCBA CLUSA is hosting an upcoming webinar on understanding “The Benefits of a United Co-op Identity” on April 29 from 10am -11am EST. This free webinar will provide compelling reasons why your organization should have its own .coop domain and you'll receive the Cooperative Marque Brand Guidelines that outline your part in raising awareness of our collective identity.



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NCBA CLUSA Upcoming Events
 

 
.coop: The benefits of a
united coop identity
April 29th, 2014 10:00 AM
through
11:00 AM
 

Cooperative Development Foundation May 7th, 2014 5:30 PM
 
2014 Cooperative Hall of Fame May 7th, 2014 5:30 PM
through
10:00 PM
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About NCBA CLUSA
The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
 
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April 4, 2014 - CBJonline

     
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<spanface="Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif" size="3" style="color: #000000; font-size: medium; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">USDALaunches Webinar to Connect with Co-ops
A special webinar series hosted by Lillian Salerno, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service, in the Department's Rural Development Agency, with the first one on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 10:00am EST.

NCBA CLUSA is organizing this webinar series in partnership with the USDAto convening the cooperative stakeholder community to hear directly from Administrator Salerno on the many ongoing changes and the strategic direction her agency is taking as it implements many Administration and Department priorities and initiatives, including the recent Farm Bill. This webinar series is expected to take place once a month with new topics and discussion points.


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  THUMB 01 Farmers HelpingFarmers: Cooperative Program Launches in Senegal
On Wednesday, April 2 a renewed agreement of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program was launched at NCBA CLUSA=E2=80=99s project office in Dakar, Senegal, ensuring the program will continue for an additional five years.

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  THUMB 01 SFCU Receives Co-op of the Year Award
Alcorn State University honors Mrs. Helen Godfrey Smith and NCBA CLUSA member Shreveport Federal Credit Union during its 2014 Small Farmers and Women in Business Conference in Jackson, Mississippi. "This is a wonderful honor and we are proud to be the recipient of the 2014 Cooperative of the Year Award," said Mrs. Helen Godfrey-Smith upon accepting the award. "I am more committed than ever to the development of more partnerships and projects that help communities growand prosper, and finding viable solutions to challenges facing residents in the Delta."

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  THUMB 01 Application Deadline Approaching! Sullivan Fund for Co-op Communications
Grant applications for requests for consideration from theSullivan Fund are due April 11, 2014.

Established in 1998 by The Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA), the Shirley K. Sullivan Fund honors deceased, longtime member Shirley Sullivan, a senior editor at Southern States Cooperative.

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  THUMB 01 Opportunity forCo-op Exchange in Cuba
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives (FSC) was recently granted a one-year travel license by the United States Department of Treasury, to legally travel to the island country of Cuba for educational purposes. The license authorizes individuals under the auspices of FSC to travel to Cuba for coop educational exchan= ges.

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  THUMB 01 New York City Network for Workers Co-op=E2=80=99s Speaks Out
In 2013, New York City procured 16.5 billion dollars worth of supplies and construction services, but none of this money was allocated to worker-owned co-operative businesses. What could happen if this changed? Founding Director of the NYC Network for Worker Co-operatives Chris Michael came examines this.

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  THUMB 01 2014 Cooperative Issues Forum! Registration Open!
The Cooperative Development Foundation invites you to attend the Fourth Annual Cooperative Issues Forum on May 7, 2014 from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm EST at the renowned National Press Club in Washington, DC. This year the forum will feature a Keynote Address by Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).

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  THUMB 01 The International Summit of Cooperatives Announces Speakers
With the United Nations declaring 2014 the International Year of Family Farming, the 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives will bring together experts, researchers, and decision makers from the cooperative world and civil society to discuss how cooperative enterprises help ensure global food security. The 2014 International Summit of Cooperatives will be held in Quebec City, Canada, from October 6 to October 9.

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  THUMB 01 Cooperative Legislation Around the World: The International Cooperative Law Handbook
In 2009, the national legislature of Mozambiquepassed a new law recognizing cooperatives as autonomous businesses, the management of which belongs to no one but the members. While the law providesco-ops with basic legal requirements, it allows them to be mostly self-regulating.

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  THUMB 01 Young People, Technology, and Co-op Values can Change The World
Acrossthe planet, co-ops are transforming the lives of people for the better, providing access to ownership of key elements of their daily lives. As our interaction and communication in our everyday lives has seemingly been whittled down to 140 characters and instant sharing of our experiences, the younger generation will play a key role in the growth and cultural acceptance ofcooperative values in meeting their short and long-term needs.

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  THUMB 01 Co-Operatives: Major Contributors for Sustainable Development
The United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals were set in the year 2000 and include ambitious aims in different fields that range from eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, promoting gender equality and empower women, achieving universal primary education to ensuring environmental sustainability. These targets were to be achieved by the end of 2015.

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NCBA CLUSA Upcoming Events
 

 

Austin Co-op Summit April 4th, 2014 7:00 PM
through
April 5th, 20149:00 PM
 
.coop: The benefits of a
united coop identity
April 29th, 2014 10:00 AM
through
11:00 AM
 

Cooperative Development Foundation May 7th, 2014 5:30 PM
 
2014 CooperativeHall of Fame May 7th, 2014 5:30 PM
through
10:00 PM
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Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Visit our Website
 
About NCBA CLUSA
The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade associationfor cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impactthat cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families.In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
 
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=C2=A9 2014 NCBA CLUSA    

March 28, 2014 - CBJonline

     
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Can Worker Co-ops Lift Families Out of Poverty?
Worker co-ops are getting great traction in mainstream press lately. Many people are looking into the benefits that these types of co-ops and provided.

With all the talk of income inequality currently taking place around the country, the worker co-op seems to provide an effective way to meet that challenge and provide an equitable worker-owned solution.

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  THUMB 01 Cooperatives Drive Sustainable Growth
by The International Co-operative Alliance

The International Co-operative Alliance, the global voice for co-operatives, published its position on this issue, highlighting the many obstacles, which still exist for the billion people-strong movement.

Sustainable development is at the very core of co-operative enterprises. As a model of business based on ethical values and principles whose goal it is to provide for the needs and aspirations of their members, co-operatives play a pivotal role in responding to local community needs and objectives.
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  THUMB 01 .coop: The Benefits of a United Co-op Identity

If you're wondering how to boost your brand, this webinar is for you. Together a .coop domain name and the Cooperative Marque are symbols of the global cooperative movement and of our collective identity; demonstrating our unity of purpose.

Listen and learn about how the use of the .coop domain name and marque can benefit your business growth. Identity forms a key pillar of the Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade and we believe that the more visibility there is for the cooperative model then this will help make more people aware of their.
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  THUMB 01 Of Oysters and Co-ops

The cooperative business model can be applied in many different ways, and in many different industries. In this New York Times article "A Chesapeake Homecoming" by reporter Julia Moskin, Virginia natives, Travis and Ryan Croxton, apply the cooperative model to oyster farming. "The Croxtons did not grow up as oystermen (Travis studied finance; Ryan, Southern literature), and neither did their fathers. "Grandpa told them to go to college instead of messing around with oysters," Travis said.
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  THUMB 01 Co-op's and Their Principles, a Commentary

In the past few months there have been various news articles regarding the challenges being navigated by The Co-operative Group, the largest cooperative organization in the United Kingdom, with over 7 million members. Headquartered in Manchester, England, The Co-operative Group has more than 100,000 employees across the UK.

In a recent article published in The Guardian, Dame Pauline Green, president of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), commented on these challenges facing the Co-operative Group and shares some of her conclusions regarding the recent turmoil.
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NCBA CLUSA Upcoming Events
 

 

Austin Co-op Summit April 4th, 2014 7:00 PM
through
April 5th, 2014 9:00 PM
 
.coop: The benefits of a
united coop identity
April 29th, 2014 10:00 AM
through
11:00 AM
Spacer
 
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Visit our Website
 
About NCBA CLUSA
The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
 
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March 21, 2014 - CBJonline

 
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Cooperative Leaders from Across
the Hemisphere Demonstrate at OAS Gathering

by NCBA CLUSA - March 21, 2014
(WASHINGTON, DC) – On Thursday, March 20th more than 150 cooperative leaders from the Caribbean, North, Central, and South America met for a first-of-its-kind event held at the Organization of American States (OAS).
“Cooperatives in the Americas: Driving Economic Growth and Social Inclusion” was jointly hosted by the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA), the Organization of American States (OAS), Cooperatives of the Americas—A Region of the International Cooperative Alliance, and the U.S. Permanent Mission to the O AS.

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  THUMB 01 Six New Food Co-ops and Groups to Receive Bowers Fund Grants
by NCBA CLUSA

Washington, DC - Advisors of the Cooperative Development Foundation's Bowers Fund recently approved nearly $6000 in grants to support training for directors and staff of six food cooperatives.
 
The grants were awarded to:
  • Local First Grocer Cooperative, Manitou Springs, CO, for training of a board member and the general manager in finance and board development;
  • Market Street Co-op, Fort Kent, ME, for the general manager to spend two days at another Maine co-op for hands-on learning;
  • Monadnock Food Co-op, Keene, NH, for customer service training;
  • The Portland Food Co-op, Portland, ME, for board training for working with a new general manager;
  • South Philly Food Co-op, Philadelphia, PA, for board and codmmittee member training and start-up support;
  • Taos Food Co-op, Taos, NM, to travel to another NM food co-ops for hands-on training and financial training for staff.

CDF's mission is to promote community, economic and social development through cooperative enterprises. ...
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  THUMB 01 NCBA CLUSA to Make Appropriations Request for Continued RCDG Funding
by NCBA CLUSA

This week The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) has requested $26,630,000 for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG).
= This bill assists individuals or entities in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other business entities.
 
Grants are awarded competitively on an annual basis to Rural Cooperative Development Centers who in turn provide technical assistance to individuals and entities.
 
NCBA CLUSA is working in partnership with Cooperation Works! to preserve this vital funding. ...

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  THUMB 01 Hall of Fame Honors Cooperative Heroes
by NCBA CLUSA

Four outstanding cooperative leaders will receive the cooperative community’s highest honor on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014, when they are inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. The 2014 inductees will be (pictured above, L-R) rural utilities leader Martin J. Lowery, credit union leader Harriet May, international development leader Papa M.D. Sene, and cooperative financer Barry Silver.
“The roster of the Cooperative Hall of Fame tells the story of the U.S. cooperative community through the lives and accomplishments of extraordinary individuals,” said Gasper Kovach, Jr., board chair, Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF). “Induction to the Cooperative Hall of Fame is reserved for those who have made genuinely heroic contributions to the cooperative community.” ...

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About NCBA CLUSA
The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
 
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Services

For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has encouraged communities to live cooperatively, harnessing the uncommon power of common purpose. NCBA CLUSA applies cooperative principles in development, advocacy, and education.

Webinars

window.location.href = "https://www.ncba.coop/current-events" Succession Planning for Co-op Members Join us for a Webinar on June 26 Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: What will happen to your business when its leadership is ready to retire? During NCBA CLUSA’s June 26 webinar, presenter Gary Pittsford, CFP, president and CEO of Castle Wealth Advisors, will discuss key factors you need to consider in planning for the future of your coop, including: • Issues affecting family members • Transition options • Retirement income security • Tax impacts and options • Business and estate plans Get the answers to your burning questions about the succession planning process and begin to assemble an advisory team who can help you make smart decisions for your organization.   Title: Succession Planning for Co-op Members Date: Thursday, June 26, 2014 Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT   After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.   System Requirements PC-based attendees Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server Mac®-based attendees Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer Mobile attendees Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet       Future NCBA CLUSA Webinar Topics Promoting Cooperation with Financial Cooperatives Learn how financial cooperatives are engaging in cross-sector collaboration by doing business with other cooperative sectors. Cooperative education in colleges and universitiesWhile the cooperative business model is distinct from other business models, our current options for pursuing relevant cooperative management education is limited. Join this webinar to learn about the existing programs, along with work being done to improve management education for the cooperative sector. Cooperative GovernanceWebinar will explore key issues in cooperative governance, and how cooperative governance is different than governance of other organizational models.   NCBA CLUSA’s webinars continue to be a popular source of information on issues impacting the cooperative community. Whether it is marketing and branding your co-op, understanding the legal and governmental framework of cooperatives or learning how co-ops are using technology to be innovative, NCBA CLUSA’s webinars provide useful and timely information to leverage opportunities for growing and improving your cooperative. Webinar Archive Miss a webinar? Visit NCBA CLUSA's archive to view presentations on-demand We'd Love Your Input! Do you have an idea for a webinar topic? Please send your suggestions to:info@ncba.coop

Webinars

NCBA CLUSA Takes Food for Progress Success Story to Capitol Hill and USDA

(WASHINGTON, DC)—This week, NCBA CLUSA’s Chief of Party for Uganda, Gretchen Villegas, met with key leadership on Capitol Hill to share the success of the Uganda Conservation Farming Initiative funded by United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food for Progress program currently being implemented by NCBA CLUSA in Northern Uganda. Ms. Villegas was accompanied by NCBA CLUSA leadership; President and CEO Mike Beall, CLUSA International Chief Operating Officer Amy Coughenour Betancourt, and vice president of Advocacy R.L. Condra.    “This program is vitally important to farmers in Uganda,” said Villegas. “Providing local Ugandan farmers access to this training in conservation agriculture has benefitted more than just the farmers and their households, it benefits the community as a whole and provides a measure of food security and stability in the region.”   Through this program, NCBA CLUSA is training 60,000 farmers on the proper implementation of conservation farming techniques. Within three years, following proper implementation, Ugandan farmers can increase their crop yields by over 100 percent and are now able to support their families. The delegation met with key Congressional players that oversee International development programs funded by government agencies including USDA. They shared the successful outcomes of the project and requested continued support for the program.    The visit included conversations with T.A. Hawks, Staff Director and Taylor Nicholas, both senior staff serving on the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees and authorizes the USDA Food for Progress program. Both Hawks and Nicholas work for Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) who is Ranking Member on the Committee. Additionally, they met with Ned Michalek, Chief of Staff to Congressman Eliot Engel who is Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.   An overview of the project and its progress was presented at USDA to Food for Development Branch Chief Nicola Sakhleh and his staff from partner and funding agency, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.    The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the apex association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, support, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has grown its international development portfolio to over $34 million of active programs in 15 countries.   ###

NCBA CLUSA Takes Food for Progress Success Story to Capitol Hill and USDA

Association Services

  Pat Brownell Sterner, Chief Operating Officer Click Here To Email Pat 202-638-6222   Bryan Munson,  Director, Membership Click Here To Email Bryan 202.442.2318   Tom Decker, Director, Cooperative Development Click Here To Email Tom 202.442.2318                   The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA (NCBA CLUSA) represents a cross-sector co-op community of 29,000 businesses that control over $3 trillion in assets.  We unite co-ops by promoting the cooperative business model, driving cross-sector collaboration, and being the national ‘voice’ for cooperatives to raise the profile of co-ops everywhere. Our work is grounded in our three-part mission:
 To raise the profile of cooperatives
 To promote and protect the cooperative business enterprise model To drive cross-sector collaboration among cooperatives in keeping with Principle 6 of the Cooperative Principles       We believe in collaboration, and in bringing value to the many efforts already underway through our cooperative development partners and intermediaries that are doing the necessary ‘boots on the ground’ cooperative development work. In our role as facilitator, convener, and financing partner, we assist our partners in their work with strengthening the structure, reach and financial sustainability of existing cooperatives, as well as efforts to establish new cooperatives.  We are collaborating with Cooperation Works! and Cooperative Development Centers across the country to develop more diverse – and sustainable – funding for their important work. We are responding to local and regional nationwide that are interested in establishing Cooperative Business Associations, with the intent of creating local cooperative ‘chambers of commerce’ to drive the financial success of cooperatives in these associations, raise the profile of cooperatives in their communities, and foster cross-collaboration among cooperatives. Using the power of cooperative development work and our collective cooperative voice, NCBA CLUSA advocates on Capitol Hill on behalf of cooperatives, fighting to maintain or increase government funding for cooperative programs and securing access to legislation that protects the cooperative business enterprise model. Throughout the United States, NCBA CLUSA is working with cooperatives and cooperative development organizations to embed cooperatives in their local and regional economies. With our partners NCBA CLUSA supports cooperative development, funds cooperative education, and promotes the need for research to continually strengthen the case for cooperatives in our economy.   OUR FOCUS NCBA CLUSA takes very seriously its role as CONVENER of cooperatives and cooperators across the country. ADVOCACY NCBA CLUSA is also working hard to amplify the voice of cooperatives at the national level, specifically through increased advocacy work on behalf of cooperatives sectors.  For example, NCBA CLUSA sent letters to members of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees pressing for tax reform to retain the tax exemption for credit unions. Likewise, through the efforts of NCBA CLUSA and partners, a significant shift in the government’s fiscal year 2014 spending bill has made provision for $5.8 million for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) and an additional $3 million for the Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant (SSDPG). Moving forward, we plan to establish a congressional Cooperative Caucus as a forum to brief legislators on cooperatives and cooperative sectors. CO-OP TALKS Another significant focus for NCBA CLUSA is boosting our presence with members through a series of Co-op Talks.  These meetings will be excellent opportunities for us to listen to our members, recruit new members, and learn more about what cooperatives need in communities across America.  Current list of venues include: Denver, Colorado Madison, Wisconsin   CONFERENCES NCBA CLUSA hosts and/or supports several conferences throughout the year: Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA):  June 12-14 in Madison, Wisconsin Co-op Week (in partnership with the National Cooperative Bank and the Cooperative Development Foundation):  May 5-9 in Washington, D.C. Purchasing Cooperative Conference and the NCBA CLUSA Annual Meeting:  September 8 – 11 in St. Paul, Minnesota   COOPERATIVE BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS (CBA'S) We are working with several groups throughout the country that are organizing to establish CBAs.  To support these efforts NCBA CLUSA is providing financial support, human resources and business planning to launch what can be thought of as local “co-op chambers of commerce”, with missions to promote the co-op business model, grow the bottom-line of cooperatives in local communities, and engage more consumers as co-op members.  We are focused on four locations: Austin, Texas  (Austin Cooperative Business Association) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Area Cooperative Association) Upstate New York Western Massachusetts (Valley Cooperative Business Association   COOPERATIVE BUSINESS SERVICES We are committed to raising the profile of cooperatives as economic drivers in our communities.  To that end we will be providing services such as internal and external “cooperative assessments” for members interested in (internally) better integrating the cooperative principles into their business plans and operations, and (externally) leveraging cross-sector relationships to promote their businesses to a broader base of consumers.  We will be utilizing the Blueprint for the Cooperative Decade in this work with our members, with a projected outcome of better identifying and communicating the economic power of cooperatives in given communities.   COOPERATIVE BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE In 2014 we will be establishing the Cooperative Business Roundtable, which will be a convening of CEOs from our larger members.  We have recognized the opportunity to bring CEOs together to network with each other about the opportunities and challenges for cooperatives in today’s economy as well as those they face in their own cooperatives.  Plans are being made to launch the inaugural session of the Roundtable during Co-op Week in Washington, D.C. (May 5 – 9, 2014).     OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH CooperationWorks AND THE COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT CENTERS CooperationWorks! Is the center for excellence for cooperative business development. They are a dynamic and innovative national cooperative created to grow the cooperative model across the United States. Cooperative development centers work to revitalize communities through effective cooperative enterprise development. The centers provide a broad spectrum of expertise and technical assistance, including feasibility studies, market analysis, business plan development, governance training, and educational programs. NCBA CLUSA works closely with both CooperationWorks! and the centers to provide support and resources to aid in their very critical work. NCBA CLUSA understands that it is imperative to grow and sustain financial support so that CooperationWorks! and the centers may foster cooperative economic development. To that end, NCBA CLUSA is co-hosting with CooperationWorks! a summit to engage the cooperative development centers on a national level that will bring forth strategies that will diversify and grow funding. PARTNERSHIP WITH FREELANCERS UNION NCBA CLUSA first began working Freelancers Union in 2010 while assisting organizations across the United States that were applying for funding to develop the new national health care CO-OPs. NCBA CLUSA first provided expertise to Freelancers Union regarding board governance and board development for the application and later played a role in board training for Freelancers Union. Since that time, a close and productive relationship has grown between the two organizations. Sara Horowitz, Found and Executive Director of Freelancers Union, recently wrote; “Cooperatives are deeply knit in the American fabric. In 1752, founding father (and volunteer firefighter) Ben Franklin started the nation's first mutual fire insurance company, Philadelphia Contributionship, which still operates today. In his book For All The People, historian and woodworker John Curl highlights the amazing diversity of cooperative businesses that popped up in the 1800s -- mining coops, shoemaking coops, knitting coops. Basically anything workers could unite to own, they did. We are beginning to see the rise of that mutualistic ethos once again. Many of these efforts directly mirror the late 1800s mutual support model -- but this time with the internet helping bring what had once been local models to national scale.” Freelancers Union has a mission of promoting the interests of independent workers through advocacy, education, and services. NCBA CLUSA is working with the Freelancers Union to provide certain training, education and support services to assist the Freelancers Union in fulfilling their research of cooperatives, member educational programming, project management, board education, business model transition, and public relations objectives, and services for which cooperation may be mutually beneficial. REGIONAL FARMERS MARKET/USDA RCDG GRANT NCBA CLUSA’s 2012 USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant is dedicated to supporting the establishment of a Regional Farmer’s Market located in the Mississippi Delta, in partnership and through the leadership of Shreveport Federal Credit Union and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. The establishment of food hubs that address food deserts is a particular area of expertise for NCBA CLUSA through our international work, and we are applying that expertise to our rural cooperative development partnerships. The work is also supported by previous project work related to wealth creation and development of value chains, especially as relate to cross-sector cooperative business opportunities. The initial work around the establishment of a regional farmers’ market located in Marks, Mississippi has been led by the Shreveport Federal Credit Union, which located a branch in Marks in 2006. Joining with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, the primary cooperative development expert in the rural south, Shreveport FCU has worked with local community leaders to further explore opportunities for community engagement and is currently building out the concept for the market, setting in motion plans to launch the market by the end of 2013. The idea for the Delta Regional Market (a name under consideration) came about through multiple meetings with community members, mayors of several towns, and farmers in which they addressed the challenges which have caused this region to be so economically deprived. The Market will be a food hub for the entire community providing reasonably priced, fresh, locally-grown foods; creating jobs for some and for others an entertainment and a gathering place that is planned to be a major draw for customers within a 50-mile radius.  On-street parking provides plenty of space for customers, and the building is located near local businesses to encourage foot traffic to nearby merchants. The Market will also be a showcase for the community’s cultural roots. In addition to being a Food Hub with sales of fresh farm products, the Market will also house a small Museum called “The Muletrain Museum and Gift Store”, a Kidz Zone, and a small Food Court. “Sunday Go to Meeting at the Market” will highlight the deep spiritual roots of the people of the Delta, and provide the opportunity for area churches from diverse communities to bring their choirs and congregations to the market to sing in the food court area on Sunday afternoons as an additional way to attract consumers to the Market. Another central feature of the Market will be the participation of the North Delta Produce Growers Association, which will use part of the Market’s building to expand their commercial enterprise which currently sells purple hull peas to Walmart. Expansion of their operations will increase the distribution opportunities for their participating farmers, and open the door for other farmer cooperatives to join. Leadership and partnership must go hand in hand for the success of this project. Shreveport Federal Credit Union is stepping up with some of the financing for the building; the Federation of Southern Cooperatives is providing the hands-on expertise in agricultural as well as small cooperative business development. Thanks to funding from the USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant, NCBA CLUSA is providing expertise in business planning, project design and financing to support the launch and sustainability of the project. We believe the Delta Regional Market can become an important pilot for other communities to follow, and we will work with our partners to document and evaluate every step of this important project. Links to partners: Shreveport Federal Credit Union Federation of Southern Cooperatives North Delta Produce Growers Association USDA

Association Services

SENATOR BEGICH SUPPORTS CREDIT UNION TAX EXEMPTION

  Thursday, 01 August 2013 10:38 In a July letter to the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) stated he supports credit unions and their tax exemption status. Outside of the Washington beltway, regular folks may not be aware that Congress is working to overhaul the existing tax structure. For the last few years, Congressional tax committees have been considering comprehensive tax reform, and they now plan to draft and pass a bill later in the year. The current process in the Senate is called the “blank slate” approach. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have asked senators to submit letters advising the committee which tax exemptions they support that should be included in the committee’s approach to comprehensive tax reform. Along with his requests to keep housing and energy tax provisions, Senator Begich also included the credit union tax exemption in his July 26 letter to the Senate Finance Committee. In his letter, Senator Begich stated, “Alaska is far removed from traditional financial centers and that credit unions play an outsized role in the state’s economy. That is why Section 501(c)(14), which grants tax exempt status to credit unions, should be retained in any tax reform effort, to ensure continued access to affordable credit for consumers, homebuyers and small businesses alike, all of which contribute substantially to economic growth.” At the Finance Committee’s request, the letter writing exercise has been kept confidential, but Senator Begich, along with a few other senators have made their requests public. It is not clear how senators are participating in the “blank slate” process, or how the House of Representatives will proceed with their tax reform approach. NCBA CLUSA has coordinated its efforts with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) to support the credit union tax exemption and will continue to work with its association partners as the tax reform process moves ahead in Congress.  

SENATOR BEGICH SUPPORTS CREDIT UNION TAX EXEMPTION

Call to Action: Tell Your Members of Congress to Support Cooperative Development Funding!

Cooperative Development Centers Need Your Support! During the Congressional appropriations process, vital funding for the USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program was impacted dramatically, and the cooperative community needs to do everything we can NOW to restore it to sufficient levels. The House of Representatives Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014 eliminates RCDG funding that is critical to the development of cooperatives in rural America. The Senate provides $8.8 million in their funding bill for the program. Without sufficient funding for the RCDG program, cooperative development centers providing hands-on assistance will be unable to operate, and the only existing program in the federal government dedicated to cooperative development would be hindered significantly or possibly eliminated. As an NCBA CLUSA member and supporter, you have an opportunity to help! Attached are two letters, one specifically drafted for the House of Representatives and the other for the Senate. Please send the appropriate letter of support to your Representative or Senators and let them know this vital program needs to be saved. If you would like to share the success of your advocacy efforts on this issue or have any questions, please contact NCBA CLUSA’s Vice President of Advocacy, R.L. Condra at 202.383.5480 or rcondra@ncba.coop. Sincerely, Michael Beall President and Chief Executive Officer   Download House of Representatives Letter » Find Your Representative Download Senate Letter » Find Your Senator

Call to Action: Tell Your Members of Congress to Support Cooperative Development Funding!

Legislative Update: Cooperative Development Bill Introduced in the House of Representatives

  Legislative Update Cooperative Development Bill Introduced in the House of RepresentativesLegislation Focuses on Job Creation by Promoting Cooperative Development  (WASHINGTON, DC) – The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) is excited to announce the introduction of legislation that will spur job creation and development of cooperatives. The legislation H.R. 2437 titled, “Creating Jobs Through Cooperatives Act of 2013” was introduced by Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) on June 20 in the House of Representatives. “Co-ops bring communities tighter by encouraging residents to pool their skills and resources,” said Fattah. “They empower people to make decisions that will create opportunities that grow their communities and provide an added sense of belonging. This legislation brings federal resources and a policy priority to that effort.” The legislation would create a national program within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide capital, training and other resources to foster member owned businesses. The bill introduced will strengthen communities, promote self-help, and generate jobs by awarding grants to nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities that help grow or create cooperatives. Also, when establishing cooperatives, communities will be provided with guidance, best practices, and technical assistance. Furthermore, the legislation will create a revolving loan fund, providing seed capital to groups forming cooperatives and funding to train providers in technical issues, supporting existing professional development for organizations engaged in cooperative development. “On behalf of the 29,000 cooperatives throughout the country, we thank Congressman Fattah for his support and leadership,” said Michael Beall, president of NCBA CLUSA. “This legislation is a giant step in providing more communities around the country with the financial backing to grow businesses that share their same values.” Cooperatives already play a significant role in the U.S. economy operating in all 50 states and across all sectors. They are owned and operated by the people who utilize the goods or services provided by the co-op and they operate for the benefit of its members. Cooperatives are a part of many industries including energy, telecommunications, food distribution, insurance, credit unions, agriculture, health, housing, and wholesale and retail purchasing and distribution. There are 29,000 U.S. cooperatives that account for more than $3 trillion in assets, totalling over $500 billion in revenue, $25 billion in wages and benefits, and providing nearly two million jobs. If you would like to receive the text of the bill, or would like to learn how you could have your Member of Congress support the legislation, please contact R.L. Condra, NCBA CLUSA Vice President of Advocacy, at  or 202.383.5480. The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the apex association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, support, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has grown its international development portfolio to over $34 million of active programs in 14 countries.

Legislative Update: Cooperative Development Bill Introduced in the House of Representatives

Co-op Jobs

Reaching thousands of like-minded cooperators has never been easier! NCBA CLUSA’s jobs posting service targets your job listing to those in the cooperative community looking to get involved in cooperative work!

 

 

NCBA CLUSA is the nation’s oldest and largest national membership association representing cooperatives of all types and in all industries. We are democratically organized and operate according to internationally recognized cooperative principles. NCBA CLUSA’s mission is to develop, advance and protect cooperative businesses and to demonstrate the power of the cooperative business model to achieve economic and social impacts. As the apex organization representing the interests of the US cooperative community, NCBA CLUSA provides a strong, unified voice on Capitol Hill. The Association’s portfolio includes programs and services that meet the shared advocacy, education and communications needs of a cross-sector, US cooperative community. In addition to its work domestically, NCBA CLUSA’s international program has been engaged in cooperative and sustainable business development in over 100 countries for close to 60 years.


NCBA CLUSA is an equal employment opportunity employer. It is the intent and policy of NCBA CLUSA to bar discrimination in the recruitment, selection, employment, assignment, payment, training, development, promotion, discipline, and termination of its employees. It is also the intent of NCBA CLUSA to treat all applicants for employment and all employees on the basis of job-related qualifications, and not based on race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, pregnancy, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other classification proscribed under local, state, or federal law.

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The Team

Meet Our Senior Leadership Team

Michael Beall

Michael Beall

President & Chief Executive Officer
Patricia Brownell Sterner

Patricia Brownell Sterner

Chief Operating Officer, NCBA
Amy Coughenour Betancourt

Amy Coughenour Betancourt

Chief Operating Officer, CLUSA International
Valeria Roach

Valeria Roach

Chief Financial Officer
Lisa Bowman

Lisa Bowman

Chief Administrative Officer, NCBA CLUSA
Larry Thomas

Larry Thomas

Chief Human Resources Officer, NCBA CLUSA

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the oldest and largest national cross sector association for cooperatives, professionals servicing co-ops, and supporters.



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