Penn State Signs Agreement With Pa. Council Of Cooperatives

January 01, 1998

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has signed a five-year agreement with the Pennsylvania Council of Cooperatives (PCC) to continue ongoing joint education and research programs.

The pact calls for collaboration between the PCC and Penn State's Cooperative Business Education and Research Program to identify, prioritize and serve the educational needs of the cooperative community.

"Nearly one in three Pennsylvanians is a member of a cooperative or uses cooperative services," says Dr. Robert Steele, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. "Helping to sustain healthy cooperative businesses is consistent with Penn State's mission to serve the needs of the state's citizens. This joint program is considered a model for successful industry/university partnerships."

Under the agreement, the Cooperative Business Education and Research Program, which is administered by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, develops educational programs for cooperative leaders, directors and employees, as well as for cooperative extension agents and secondary agricultural education teachers. The PCC, a trade organization of more than 25 agricultural and service cooperatives, provides financial support, in addition to business knowledge, expertise and information.

Cornerstones of the joint educational program are the annual Pennsylvania Cooperative Director Institute and the Summer Institute on Cooperative Education and Leadership.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, Pennsylvania is home to 63 farm cooperatives, 22 rural credit unions, four farm credit associations and 13 rural electric cooperatives.

In 1995, 21 dairy cooperatives served nearly 8,000 members with almost $1.3 billion in sales; 48 marketing cooperatives served about 12,000 members whose sales totaled nearly $1.7 billion; seven supply cooperatives with more than 3,300 members generated $413 million in sales; eight service cooperatives provided $41 million in services to about 17,000 members; and rural electric cooperatives provided 186,000 members with power valued at $344 million.

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EDITORS: For more information, contact Richard Poorbaugh at 814-863-0644 or Chuck Gill Chuck_Gill@agcs.cas.psu.edu 814-863-2713 814-865-1068 fax

Last Updated March 19, 2009