The impact agricultural cooperatives have on rural economic development was highlighted for young agriculturalists recently at the College Conference on Cooperatives at Minneapolis.
Four students represented the University of Nebraska Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis. Maggie Brunmeier of Bayard, Neb., Nate Montanez of Grand Island, Neb., Alyssa Novak of Aurora, Neb. and Trevor Schipporeit of Merna, Neb. and NCTA Assistant Professor Jeremy Sievers were delegates to the conference organized by National Farmers Union.
The students participated in tours at Cenex Harvest States (CHS) headquarters, the REI Sports Sales Coop, housing and food coops, and the Mill City Flour Museum. They also heard speakers from cooperatively-owned grocery stores, agricultural coops, rural electric coops, credit unions, and new coops.
The NCTA students have attended several of the annual conferences, Sievers said.
Its a good opportunity for our students to see and learn about the wide range of Cooperatives that are out there, and opportunities to work in them, said NCTAs Sievers. It allows them to see that its just not the Co-op down the street or the electrical Co-op they belong to but places like REI and grocery stores can be run in the cooperative structure as well.
NCTAs Agribusiness Management Systems (AMS) division is one of four majors for the open-enrollment, two-year institution. NCTA has a statewide mission as part of the University of Nebraska system and is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Additional information is available at ncta.unl.edu or by calling 1-800-3-CURTIS.
Nebraska Farmers Union received grant support from foundations of CHS and NFU Union to help send the Nebraska students and professor on the Cooperatives trip.
Photo: NCTA representatives attending the 2016 College Conference on Cooperatives in Minneapolis were, (from left), Alyssa Novak, Aurora; Nate Montanez, Grand Island; Jeremy Sievers, NCTA instructor; Trevor Schipporeit, Merna; and Maggie Brunmeier, Bayard.