USDA plans webinars for National Cooperative Month, October 2015

USDA Rural Development has a webinar series planned for National Cooperative Month, October 2015. Webinars are summarized below; you can also download a flyer listing USDA cooperative events in October 2015. And the September/October issue of USDA’s Rural Cooperatives magazine has a special section on Co-op Month.

USDA encourages participants to use their computers for audio in addition to the webinar slides, but a dial in number is provided for those who need it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015: Introduction to Cooperative Development
Join Margaret Bau, Cooperative Development expert, as she hosts a webinar that teaches the basics about what exactly a Co-op is, and the collective benefits Co-ops generate for diverse communities all around the world.
Where:  Online & Audio:
When:   2:00 – 3:00 PM Central
If Using a Phone: Dial: (866) 525-2577   Conference ID : 46262925

Wednesday, October 14, 2015: Using the Cooperative Model to Build Capacity in High Poverty Rural Communities
When times are tough, people get creative. Co-ops are a powerful tool to help people achieve together what they cannot accomplish individually. Join the webinar as Cooperative expert, Margaret Bau shares some inspiring examples!
Where: Online & Audio:
When:  2:00 – 3:00 PM Central
If Using a Phone: Dial: (866) 525-2577  Conference ID : 46270689

Monday, October 19, 2015: A Historical Perspective on African American Cooperatives
Collective Courage makes a very strong case for the historical and continuing importance of cooperatives as a strategy for African American economic, social, and political development. Given the emphasis on pooled resources, cooperative economic development is an approach that gets around the constraints of limited wealth among African American individuals and families. Moreover, this volume clearly demonstrates that cooperatives have ‘joint outputs’—that is, in addition to producing a particular good or service, a cooperative frequently produces other valuable social services, civic involvement, leadership development, and managerial expertise that is transferable to activities beyond the particular cooperative enterprise. Jessica Gordon Nembhard concludes that cooperatives have been successful in the past and also present the opportunity for expanded self-reliance in the future.
Where: USDA’s Whitten Patio + Online & Audio:
When:  1:30 – 3:30 PM Central
If Using a Phone: Dial: (866) 525-2577 Conference ID : 46330651

Friday, October 30, 2015: Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, Know Your Cooperative
Seminar will be hosted by Rural Development’s Jim Barham, and fellow Co-op specialists as they speak on the growing intersection between local food systems and cooperatives. Cooperative leaders from across the local food supply chain will discuss the advantages of the cooperative business model and how they are engaged in building robust local food systems. To speak about supply-side and distribution issues, we will be joined by two farmer cooperatives: Jim Crawford, Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative (PA) and Tad Williams, Shenandoah Valley Beef Cooperative (VA). To speak about the market-side and consumer issues, we will be joined by two food retail Cooperatives: Nichola Thompson of Glut Food Co-op (MD) and Steve Cooke, Friendly City Food Co-op (VA).
Where: USDA’s Whitten Building, Room 107A + Online & Audio:
When: 9:00 – 10:30 PM Central
If Using a Phone: Dial: (866) 525-2577 Conference ID : 50573752