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Launch of training, technology center to impact rural smallholder farmers in Timor-Leste

timor-leste-prez-web 69407A new seedling nursery, demonstration center, and training and technology facility in Timor-Leste is expected to boost and diversify income sources for rural smallholder farmers in the Southeast Asian country, as well as increase their food security, nutrition and participation in the export of high-value crops.

The January 26 launch of the Los Palos Seedling Nursery drew the attention of President Taur Matan Ruak, Timor-Leste’s national leader; the country’s respective ministers of Education, Agriculture and Health; local government officials; and U.S. Ambassador to East Timor Karen Stanton.

The facility will directly impact beneficiaries of the Timor-Leste Agribusiness Development Project, implemented by NCBA CLUSA and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Food for Progress” program since 2013.

The Food for Progress program helps developing countries and emerging democracies modernize and strengthen their agricultural sectors. U.S. agricultural commodities donated to recipient countries are sold on the local market, with proceeds going toward supporting agricultural, economic or infrastructure development programs.

The Timor-Leste project is “striving to alleviate poverty through Food for Progress’ twin goals of increasing agricultural productivity and expanding trade of high-value agricultural products,” Ambassador Stanton said in her remarks at the launch.

“This project is yet another example of the U.S. Government’s commitment to Timor-Leste’s economic growth and stronger trade ties with the United States,” she added.

Stanton also applauded NCBA CLUSA and its local partner Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT) for demonstrating “dedication” to the project’s successful implementation. Owned by 23,000 smallholder farmers, CCT is Timor-Leste’s largest private-sector employer and its leading agricultural processor and exporter. NCBA CLUSA supported the formation of CCT in 1994 and continues to mentor the organization.

Donated to the project by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, the facility includes four shade house nurseries to accommodate 600,000 seedlings, a 42-acre seedling farm planted with improved commercial varieties of mango and other fruits and project staff housing and offices. The facility also boasts a demonstration farm, training and technology center and crop purchasing and processing facility. In the coming year, the facility is expected to add a crop solar-drying and warehousing facility with a storage capacity of 2,000 metric tons.

At a jointly-held ceremony, President Ruak presented seedlings to farmers from the 36 villages participating in the project from the local Lautém District.
Additional representatives from the other intervention districts were on hand to receive project-produced seedlings on behalf of their communities and schools. Widely covered by national media, the distribution was symbolic of a larger one that began in December.

The distribution of cocoa, coffee, cloves, pepper, moringa, mango, durian and cassava seedlings will continue through February, when it’s anticipated that all crops will be in the ground, said Sam Filiaci, NCBA CLUSA regional director for Southeast Asia.

“The project will distribute well over one million seedlings to project beneficiaries over this three-month period,” Filiaci said. “This distribution is on a scale that has by far never happened in the agriculturally challenged eastern half of the country.”

None of these improved seedling varieties have ever been produced in Eastern Timor-Leste, and were introduced to local farmers by the project, Filiaci added.
The Timor-Leste Agribusiness Development Project is directly benefiting 8,000 Timorese farmers and indirectly impacting some 40,000. In a related move, Cooperativa Café Timor will increase its moringa seedling production to meet demand created by a government campaign to introduce moringa production to every district in the country.


NCBA CLUSA seeking to fill Executive Director position at Austin Cooperative Business Association

ACBA Logo4 82feaNCBA CLUSA is now recruiting for an Executive Director for the Austin Cooperative Business Association (ACBA). The Executive Director is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives. The Executive Director will provide day to day leadership for ACBA including strategic management and organizational leadership, financial supervision, grant-writing/fundraising, and promotion of ACBA to internal and external audiences. The Executive Director of ACBA reports to the COO of NCBA CLUSA and the Board of Directors of ACBA. Essential Areas of Responsibility: 

Membership
• Build and recruit membership in the ACBA.
• Foster business relationships among cooperatives in Austin.
• Develop and manage an ACBA member stewardship program. Strategic Management and Organizational Leadership
• Develop and lead implementation of the ACBA Strategic Business Plan.
• Develop effective relationships between the ACBA and the Austin philanthropic, government and business communities.
• Provide efficient and effective financial and operational management of the ACBA and its programs.
• Work collaboratively with the ACBA Board of Directors to provide strategic leadership for the ACBA.
• Be an active participant representing ACBA in the National CBA cohort.

Fundraising and Promotion
• Raise funds through grants and other means to support the operations and programs of the ACBA.
• Promote the ACBA to media and other audiences to build and sustain membership in local cooperatives.
• Engage in proactive promotion of the ACBA and its mission to the entire Austin community.

Successful candidates will have the following qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree from a accredited institution in a relevant field, Master’s degree preferred.
• Minimum 3 to 5 years’ experience managing and motivating professional staff in a nonprofit trade association.
• Minimum 3 to 5 years’ of demonstrated successful fundraising and development experience required.
• Demonstrated working knowledge of cooperatives or background in cooperatives is strongly preferred.
• Must have experience working collaboratively with and reporting to a Board of Directors.
• Experience interacting with a variety of constituencies: Board of Directors, staff members, donors, volunteers, municipal and state officials, media and the general public.
• Previous experience managing projects and budgets and having strong financial management and budgeting skills.
• Demonstrated connections and an ability to engage in the Austin philanthropic, cooperative, government and business communities whose support will be critical for the success of ACBA.
• Strong ability to manage the expectations of stakeholders and delegate to the appropriate partners when necessary
• Strong effective communicator in writing, business presentations and in interpersonal communication.
• Strong consultation skills including the ability to challenge and influence partners to align practices with business objectives.
• Strong business acumen, process and customer focus.
• Familiarity and skill with the tools of the trade in human resources including HRIS, Microsoft Office suite of products, including strong excel knowledge and document retention requirements.
• Extensive knowledge of and commitment to cooperative and social justice principles.

To apply, please send a resume or CV and a cover letter to jobs@ncba.coop with the subject line “Executive Director Austin." Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

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.


North American Students of Cooperation accepting host applications for 2015 internships

nasco logo web 86385The North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO)'s Cooperative Internship Network is officially accepting host applications for 2015 internship positions.
 
We are reaching out to you as a potential partner to participate in our matching process and host an intern this upcoming summer. Whatever the size or type of your organization, we encourage you to take part in this opportunity to expand your support team. Eligible host sites may be co-ops, organizations that support co-ops, or New/Solidarity Economy organizations. If you are already considering hiring an intern, NASCO's internship network can help you expand your reach and find the ideal candidate. If you are a small organization with no paid staff, we can help you take this opportunity to advance your work. NASCO is committed to leadership and career development for the next generation of cooperators, and your participation will enrich the skills of youth interested in cooperative careers and growing our movement.
 
The NASCO Cooperative Internship Network allows cooperatives and other organizations to directly market internships to cooperative youth through NASCO's membership and networks without the hassle of a traditional intern hiring process. Through this service, NASCO is responsible for processing host/intern applications, advertising the internships, identifying potential matches, and coordinating communications between hosts and interns - hosts simply design their internship and make a hiring decision!
 
NASCO’s 65 member organizations represent more than 5,500 individuals, the majority of whom are youth living in housing cooperatives. Unlike typical internship applicant pools, our members are entering the workforce with a wealth of cooperative experience, advanced democratic competencies and a deep appreciation for the cooperative model.
 
Through leadership positions in their co-ops, many applicants have honed valuable skills relating to nonprofit governance, financial literacy, personnel management, organizational development, conflict resolution, member education, maintenance, kitchen management and community organizing. These are not your typical interns.
 
Applications from host organizations are due by Friday, February 20th. Visit www.nasco.coop for more information or to apply. For questions about the internship program or application process, email NASCO Director of Educational Programs Morgan Crawford at morgan@nasco.coop


Co-operatives stand by France following Charlie Hebdo attacks

co-opNews-je-suis-charlie 78e04Members of the International Co-operative Alliance's Principles Committee, meeting in Paris shortly after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, released a statement condemning the attacks and expressing solidarity with cooperators and citizens of France. Co-operative News published this news release highlighting the statement and similar moves to express unity: 

Following the recent deadly attacks in Paris, co-operators from across the world have voiced their solidarity with the citizens of France, while highlighting their commitment to free speech and expression. The movement has also called for peace and fraternity as a means to build a better society for all.

This month, the International Co-operative Alliance’s Principles Committee met in Paris to work on the draft guidance notes on the principles that will be adopted at the General Assembly in November. With the meeting taking place in the aftermath of last week’s attacks, the committee issued a statement of unity.

The document condemns the actions and states that free speech and liberty “are indivisible from the vision, values and aspirations of co-operators throughout the world." Reaffirming its commitment to peace and social cohesion, the committee highlights the inclusiveness of co-operative enterprises.

“From their beginnings, co-operatives have been inclusive organisations, welcoming into membership people regardless of faith, gender or ethnic origin to work together for the common benefit of all. The only limit is intolerance of actions that threaten and undermine the democratic values and principles that underpin co-operation and civil society,” the statement reads.

The French co-operative movement has also expressed solidarity towards the journalists of Charlie Hebdo and their families. The Confederation of Co-operative and Participative Societies (CG Scop), as well as CoopFR, the national trade body, have displayed the “Je suis Charlie” logo on their respective websites.

Various French co-ops have adopted the slogan, among them Le Zébre, a “café politique” based in Lyon. Two years ago the co-op, which runs its own online weekly magazine, hosted the launch of the book Charlie Hebdo les 20 ans (20 Years of Charlie Hebdo). Around 250 people who attended the launch got to meet cartoonists Charb – the magazine’s editor, who was among those killed in the attack – and Catherine.

Charb – full name Stephane Charbonnier – had been an occasional contributor to Le Zébre’s website since 2006. To pay tribute to Charb and the editorial team of Charlie Hebdo, Le Zébre invited people who had taken part in the launch to glue copies of signed books on the co-op’s window.

Echoing French co-operatives, the Italian Confederation of Co-operatives (Confederazione Cooperative Italiane) encouraged co-operators to join a gathering at French Embassy in Rome this week in support of freedom of expression. On behalf of the confederation, Mauro Lusetti (president of Legacoop), Maurizio Gardini, (president of the Alliance of Italian Co-operatives) and Rosario Altieri (president of the Italian Association of Co-operatives) issued a message of solidarity.

“The atrocious terrorist attack in Paris against the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo is not only an attack against press freedom and satire. It’s an attack against democracy, against civilisation. It’s an attack on humanity,” read the message.

“In this moment, Italian co-operators stand next to the families of the victims, the French people which mourn their dead and all those who, with the only weapon we know – democracy – fight against the barbarism of violence.”

Argentinian co-operators have expressed solidarity too, reiterating their commitment to democracy, freedom of expression and human dignity.

“In such circumstances, we must learn from our values and principles and strengthen ties to build peace, whose fundamental features are democracy, equality and solidarity, which our movement aims to put into practice across all areas of human activity,” commented Ariel Guarco, president and Ricardo López, secretary of Cooperar, the national apex body for co-operatives. “May the condemnation of violence and barbarism lead to a demonstration in favour of peace and fraternity – the only way towards the society we all aspire to.”


World Council announces youth agricultural program in Kenya

Kids 78ac1World Council of Credit Unions recently signed an agreement through its Cooperative Development Program (CDP) with Beverly School of Kenya (BSK), a private boarding school in rural Kenya, to implement an agricultural program that encourages and educates youth to view agriculture as a means of income.

World Council selected BSK for the "Future Farmer Schools" pilot program due to its focus on sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program aims to involve and attract students to agriculture and agribusiness at a formative age, while also educating them on financial literacy.

"World Council is proud to equip youth with the financial, business and agricultural tools that can benefit themselves, their families and their communities," said Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO. "Through the 'Future Farmer Schools' program, we can increase youth employment in community-based farming."

With World Council's guidance, BSK will use a demonstration plot to teach children in primary and secondary school about agricultural concepts, such as market linkages, breeding, organic processes, crop rotation, genetics and the importance of irrigation.

The program's financial education component will focus on savings, capital and risk management. BSK will connect directly to E-Kenya, an entirely digital national credit union. As members, students will be able to make deposits, transfers and withdrawals from their accounts using M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service.

In addition to educational benefits, the program will help offset expenses for the school. Crops will supply lunches. Students will sell any extra produce at a nearby market stand, which will provide micro-entrepreneurship experience. Local farmers will have an opportunity to pay to learn concepts students develop and implement on the demonstration plot. BSK will reinvest new income to improve facilities for other farming and livestock initiatives. Other resources will be used to improve academic facilities and reduce future expenses.

CDP, also operating in Mexico and Guatemala, is supported by more than US$4 million in funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The program, which began in 2010 and extends through 2016, focuses on creating and testing agricultural and financial tools to improve rural economic and financial sector development, personal income and food security.

 

Subcategories

  • US Development PR

    NCBA CLUSA is dedicated to the continued growth and strengthening of cooperative businesses across the United States. Cooperatives at all levels provide a much needed and sought after alternative to other business models. Throughout the United States, NCBA CLUSA is working with local cooperatives to embed them as permanent fixtures in their local economy. Through the implementation of cooperative development grants, NCBA CLUSA is providing support and training to coops across all cooperative sectors, through case studies and economic impact research. Using that research and the power of the collective cooperative voice, NCBA CLUSA advocates on Capitol Hill on behalf of coops, fighting to maintain or increase government funding for cooperative programs and securing access to legislature that protects the cooperative business model.

    Our domestic development 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, and as well as their efforts to establish new cooperatives. In particular 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.

    PARTNERSHIP WITH FREELANCERS UNION
    COOPERATIVE BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS (CBA'S)
    OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH CooperationWorks AND THE COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT CENTERS
    LINKS TO OTHER COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATIONS
    REGIONAL FARMERS MARKET/USDA RCDG GRANT
  • Advocacy PR
  • International Development PR
  • CBJ - PR

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.

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

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

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

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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 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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