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NCBA CLUSA in the news

NCBA CLUSA currently operates programs across three continents working with a variety of groups and institutions, including farmer cooperatives, civil society organizations, youth associations, women’s groups and local and national governments. NCBA CLUSA builds capacity at the grassroots level to create innovative, sustainable solutions for communities. Our programs continue to receive positive feedback from our clients and farmers as well as in the host countries’ National Press. See below for some of the recent international news on NCBA CLUSA programs around the world:

El Salvador – Diario Co Latino – Lanzan Proyecto de Apoyo a la Rehabilitación de la Caficultura y Diversificatión Agrícola (SPANISH)

Working to diversify the coffee plants and rehabilitate farms across El Salvador after the recent coffee rust epidemic (which decreased production in some areas up to 80 percent), NCBA CLUSA is working with local El Salvadorian cooperatives to introduce rust resistant plants.

Burkina Faso – Sidwaya – Agriculture de conservation: Mariam Zoré, une productrice modèle à Kayara dans le Namentenga (FRENCH)

NCBA CLUSA is teaching conservation agriculture techniques to 1,550 farmers in the northern part of Burkina Faso. These techniques will improve crop resilience to climate change in the Sahel region. In addition to agriculture techniques, NCBA CLUSA also works to get producers linked to credit and finance.

Namibia – All Africa – More Than 4,000 Farmers Register for Rip Furrow Services (ENGLISH)

The Namibian Conservation Agricultural project (NCAP), which recently closed in September, has already seen sustainability through local partner continuation. Using conservation agriculture techniques, such as rip furrowing, taught through NCBA CLUSA’s lead farmer extension strategies, 27 rip furrow service providers have come together to form the NCAP 2 consortium with Kongalend Financial Services, a local Namibian firm.

 (November 16, 2015)

 

 

IMPACT: Leading by Example

Mr. Eusebio in soy field PROMAC 43908Mr. Eusebio showing off his soy field using the covered plot technique, a Conservation Agriculture practice

Getting farmers to adopt new agriculture practices, and thereby improve yields and impact food insecurity only works if farmers can see the impact for themselves. This is exactly what happened to get Mr. Eusebio to try the conversation techniques on his farm.

Mr. Eusebio, who plants soy, maize and beans began experimenting with conservation agriculture after attending a field training day hosted by of NCBA CLUSA's Lead Farmers.

After seeing the difference for himself, he began using conservation agriculture on his own plots. Techniques like soil cover, adequate seed spacing and others help protect the plots from torrential rains, create healthier soil that can withstand drought and produce more yield. On average, yield increases have been 60% or higher.

Mr. Eusebio owns five hectares in which he produces soy, maize and beans and says he plans to expand conservation agriculture practices to his entire production area.

Demo plots and lead farmers, 71 percent of whom are women, have been instrumental in demonstrating the practical usefulness of new agriculture techniques. Beyond increased yields, farmers are also earning more off their land through applying for land titles, receiving business training and numeracy skills so they have more access to markets.

PROMAC is implemented by NCBA CLUSA with funding from the Government of Norway.

(September 1, 2015)

 

 

 

IMPACT: Drip by Drip

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 2.40.45 PM 497d0Work begins on Mama Taciana's farm where she lays the black drip tape to irrigate her seeds.Drip irrigation is part of the SEEDS' training strategy to not only provide quality inputs, like seeds, but to also provide training and information on how best to grow these inputs. Training up the farmers who grow seeds, means there will be better quality seeds for Mozambique.

Ten of the top seeds farmers in Malema district were selected to undergo a two day training for Oruwera Seed Company. During the training, Tanzanian drip irrigation specialist Miraji Ndege showed the group how to install water systems.

Ndege showed Mama Taciana Estevao how to set up her system and allowed her to practice inserting the drip tape to the main feeding tube using a system of valves. Mama Taciana showed she was not intimated by the process and got to grips with it so quickly that she became the first to get the system installed on her own farm.

Malema district is blessed with several strong all year round rivers, which is important for drip irrigation. This is the first time these farmers will use drip irrigation and the first time they will apply irrigation to growing seed.

Mama Taciana hired neighbors to help her plough the field to set up the irrigation system and was able to install the first system in her fields. Drip irrigation will allow her to grow quality seed for Oruwera Seed Company, which helps her livelihood, improves the quality of Oruwera seed, and ultimately improves the livelihoods of farmers down the value chain.

SEEDS is implemented by NCBA CLUSA in partnership with Fintrac under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

(August 20, 2015)

 

 

 

  

Impact: Beyond Farmers, Nurseries Bring in New Producers

Ervina seedlings 650f0Ervina Morais, Seedling Nursery Owner, tends to her coffee and pepper seedlings for the NCBA CLUSA Agribusiness Development Project, funded by USDA

Ervina Morais lives in the small village of Fuiloro on the far eastern side of East Timor. She has four children and is the main income earner in her home. Though she has no land, Morais took advantage of the opportunity to raise seedlings to sell to farmers by starting a nursery behind her home.

Bringing women in to the production chain process is cross-cutting strategy for NCBA CLUSA programming. While Morais did not have land to farm, she did have enough space to develop her own nursery, add value to the seedling market, and develop new business skills through training.

With the ongoing guidance of NCBA CLUSA's Agricultural Extension Officers through the USDA funded Agribusiness Development Project, she works to grow 5,000 Robust coffee seedlings and 100 Black Pepper seedlings. Nurturing her own talent for gardening, she built a pandanus palm shade structure to keep the seedlings health.

The fragile seedlings were initialy given to Morais through the NCBA CLUSA program, and she has raised them to mature, locally acclimated seedlings that will be purchased back for cash and provided to eager crop farmers in surrounding villages.

Asked what she would do with the profits from her seedlings she repied that she would use the increase in family income to pay for school fees for her children and "give her family a chance at a better life."

(November 6, 2015)

 

 

 

National Farmers Union member and Farmer-to-Farmer veteran returns to Zambia for a third time

IMG 0455.CR2 60c87Bob Shumaker, center, visits NCBA CLUSA headquarters ahead of his assignment with wife Yasinta, left, and friend

October 15, 2015

Bob Shumaker will return to Zambia for a third time to work with the Chipata District Farmers Association (CDFA) on soil fertility and management specifically focusing on peanuts. He first began work with the group in 2012 training on vegetable production and returned soon after to establish a cooperative based on the seven international co-op principles.

On this trip he will share his expertise in soil testing, management and fertilization for peanuts, including blended fertilizer demonstrations for CDFA farmers.

Shumaker first heard about the Farmer-to-Farmer program through his membership in the National Farmers Union – one of NCBA CLUSA’s member organizations. And after his first trip, he came back to volunteer again and again.

“It is the real thing. Hands on, hit the ground running, and finish with a sense of accomplishment!... I can tell you I miss them and will be happy to again be working towards a common goal,” said Shumaker.

In total, Shumaker has gone on four assignments through NCBA CLUSA's Farmer-to-Farmer program, including one with his wife, who he met in Zambia, in 2013 to lead trainings in Senegal for women farmers. The two worked with 150 women in two groups, training them in marketing and market access, including skills like financial literacy, business plan development and communication strategies.

“I go back because we make a difference. NCBA [CLUSA] sets the parameters of the responsibility, and just takes care of the details, which allows you to get things done,” he said. The two to three week Farmer-to-Farmer assignments are requested by organizations on the ground and are fully funded through the project, volunteers simply bring their expertise to groups who have a specific need.

In addition to soil fertility, Shumaker will be checking in on the cooperative he helped to form years ago, meeting with the cooperative leaders and discussing some of the management issues. He hopes to see the same energy and life in the cooperative as when he left.

“It is an awesome adventure. You learn about people, a different place and life,” Shumaker said, when asked if he would recommend the program. Mr. Shumaker lives in Alaska and has raised livestock for over 20 years and farmed vegetables for over 15 years. He is the president of the Alaska Farmers Union.

The Zambia Famer-to-Farmer assignments are implemented by NCBA CLUSA through a Volunteers for Economic Growth (VEGA) Special Program Support Project (SPSP). In Senegal, NCBA CLUSA implements this program under an agreement with ACDI/VOCA. The Farmer-to-Farmer program is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). To learn more about NCBA CLUSA's Farmer-to-Farmer program, click here.

 

 

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

  Thomas Bowen,  Director of Membership Click Here to Email Thomas Bowen 202.383.5461                         The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA (NCBA CLUSA) represents a cross-sector co-op community of more than 40,000 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. CONFERENCES NCBA CLUSA hosts and/or supports several conferences throughout the year: 2016 NCBA CLUSA Annual Cooperatives Conference, May 2nd-4th, Washington DC Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA):  June 9-11 in Western Massachusetts Co-op Week (in partnership with the National Cooperative Bank and the Cooperative Development Foundation):  May 2-6 in Washington, D.C. 2016 Cooperative Professionals Conference, September 19th-21st, Miami, Florida 2016 National Purchasing Cooperatives Conference, September 19th-21st, Miami, Florida   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

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

Media

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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 opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity.  All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, and legally protected characteristics for non-merit factors. NCBA CLUSA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in all facets of employment, including the employment application and selection process. If you have a disability that affects your ability to use our online system to apply for a position at NCBA CLUSA, please send an email to Misti French or call 202-383-5465.

 

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The Team

Meet Our Senior Leadership Team

Judy Ziewacz

Judy Ziewacz

President and CEO
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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