Celebrate Co-op Month with Valley Wide
Co-op month, observed nationally since 1964, is being celebrated in over 65,000 cooperatives across the United States this October. An impressive 1 in 3 Americans are co-op members, holding 350 million memberships nationwide. In a landscape marked by inflation and supply chain challenges, cooperatives offer stability and a pathway to seize opportunities for businesses.
The theme this year, “Owning your Identity,” was chosen by the National Cooperative Business Association as a way to increase engagement within co-op members, customers, employees, and the general public.
Cooperatives owned by farmers are the backbone of agricultural communities, prioritizing the well-being of their members. Similarly, Valley Ag and Valley Wide are steadfast in upholding the belief that our collective efforts yield greater results. Our co-op roots trace back to the 1920s with the formation of the Wendell-Grange Co-op, and our values have remained steady ever since.
The Birth of a Movement
Farmer-owned cooperatives emerged in response to the pressing needs of agricultural communities in the early 20th century. Facing the challenges of fluctuating market prices, lack of bargaining power, and limited access to essential resources, individual farmers recognized the potential of coming together. By pooling their resources and expertise, they aimed to level the playing field.
During the 1920s and 1930s, influential figures, drawing inspiration from Benjamin Franklin’s beliefs, promoted the idea of working together. They recognized that this collective effort could not only help economically but also strengthen communities. These cooperatives supported farmers by giving them access to crucial resources at fair prices and creating a way to market their products together. This had a significant impact on how farming and the economy in general operated.
Helping Farmers Stand Strong
Valley Wide exemplifies the co-op spirit that began centuries ago. Our goal has been to help farmers for decades, standing strong even through tough times. During National Co-op Month, we remember the roots of farmer-owned co-ops, because they show us that when people come together, they can do amazing things.
National Co-op Month is a time to celebrate, but it’s also a time to act. We honor the history of farmer-owned co-ops and keep supporting them. Together, we can make our communities and agriculture even stronger while cultivating a brighter, more prosperous future for all.