Cooperative Information Reports (CIRs)

Most of the publications are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Adobe Acrobat is a method used to transmit documents in their final, printed format for local printing. The Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print these reports is available, free of charge, on the Adobe Web site: http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html.

2012. Reprint of 5 articles from Rural Cooperatives magazine that examine the nature of cooperatives and their place in our free-market economy, taking an economic theory and dairy cooperativesmodel approach. CIR-65 The Nature of the Cooperative

2009. Reynolds. Provides an overview on purchasing cooperatives that are organized for the purpose of reducing costs and improving the quality of goods and services available to members. CIR-64 A Guide for the Development of Purchasing Cooperatives

2004. Reynolds. ural Cooperativesmagazine reprint of several articles on how U.S. farmer cooperatives recruit and maintain qualified directors on their boards. Also included is an article on seeking people with the best skills to be an effective co-op leader. CIR-63 Nominating, Electing and Compensating Co-op Directors

2003. Wadsworth. This report provides questions that cooperative directors need to ask in carrying out their distinct roles and responsibilities. The questions pertain to a host of issues and circumstances confronting directors. CIR-62 Cooperative Directors: Asking Necessary Questions

2003. Baarda. ural Cooperativesmagazine reprint of articles that lay out fundamental guidelines for cooperative directors. Along with practical guides, underlying principles and suggestions are given for specific actions cooperative boards and directors can take to improve their service to cooperatives. CIR-61 The Circle of Responsibilities for Co-op Boards

 2002. This report identifies challenges and opportunities facing farmer cooperatives in the years ahead and offers strategies to increase their chances for success. The external forces besetting cooperatives are examined as are their internal strengths and weaknesses. CIR-60 Agricultural Cooperatives in the 21st Century

2002. The Capper-Volstead Act provides a limited exemption from antitrust liability for agricultural producers who market the products they produce on a cooperative basis. Without Capper-Volstead, farmers who agree among themselves on the prices they'll accept for their products and other terms of trade would risk being held in violation of antitrust law. CIR 59 Antitrust Status of Farmer Cooperatives: The Story of the Capper Volstead Act

2000. This report provides tools for assessing cooperative boards of directors. It contains information and exercises in assessing a board in three ways: (1) director self assessment, (2) assessing the cooperative board as a single entity, and (3) assessing board meetings. CIR 58 Assessing Performance and Needs of Cooperative Boards of Directors

1998. This guide presents the very basics in bookkeeping and cooperative financial statements. The format is designed for those that have limited bookkeeping or accounting experience. CIR 57 Understanding Cooperative Bookkeeping and Financial Statements

1997. This report provides information on ways a cooperative can manage its equity capital to achieve and maintain proportionality of investment, regardless of the type of capital plan used. CIR 56 Managing Your Cooperative's Equity

2005. This report provides a comprehensive summary of basic information on the cooperative way of organizing and operating a business. It covers the nature and extent of the use of cooperatives, compares cooperatives to other business structures, explains the roles various people play in a cooperative, and discusses equity accumulation and income taxation.  CIR 55 Coops 101 - An Introduction to Cooperatives

1996. Brochure that describes some of the characteristics and benefits of cooperatives. CIR 54 Do Yourself a Favor - Join a Cooperative

 1996. Brochure that discusses the characteristics of cooperative housing, how it differs from other types of housing, and how it operates. CIR 53 Cooperative Housing for Rural America

 1996. This report describes some of the difficulties encountered when cooperatives consider combining their organizations and how use of an outside facilitator can help this process. The overall context of major phases and steps in a merger/consolidation process are surveyed, followed by a more detailed examination of just the negotiating phase. CIR 52 Cooperative Merger/Consolidation Negotiations

1995. This report describes the base capital method of equity financing in a cooperative as a means of providing a responsive and objective capitalization program.  CIR 51 Base Capital Financing of Cooperatives

1997. Spanish version. This pamphlet very briefly describes what a cooperative is, why they are developed, what the principles are, and the steps required for developing a cooperative. CIR 50 S Que es una Cooperativa? Para que se Organizan las Cooperativas?

 1997. This pamphlet very briefly describes what a cooperative is, why they are developed, what the principles are, and the steps required for developing a cooperative. CIR 50 What is a Cooperative? Why Cooperatives are Organized

1998. This brochure briefly describes the attributes of shared-service cooperatives describing how their members jointly acquire goods and/or services at beneficial prices. CIR 49 Shared Services Cooperative

1997. This handbook presents a method for facilitating a strategic planning process in an agricultural cooperative. CIR 48 Strategic Planning Handbook for Cooperatives

2000. Four-page Informational pamphlet on agricultural marketing cooperatives useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 15 Agricultural Marketing Cooperative

 2011. Four-page informational pamphlet outlining steps to forming a cooperative. This is useful for groups interested in starting a cooperative and/or for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 14 How to Start a Cooperative

2011. Informational pamphlet containing aggregate statistics of farmer cooperatives, useful to cooperatives and for educational purposes. Online only, updated annually. CIR 45 Section 13 Farmer Cooperative Statistics

1995. Four-page informational pamphlet on base capital equity financing in cooperatives, useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 12 Base Capital Financing of Cooperatives

1995. Four-page informational pamphlet on cooperative management. In cooperatives, the management team consists of two distinct entitieshe board of directors elected by the members and a professional business manager hired by the board. CIR 45 Section 11 Cooperative Business Management Functions

1995. Four-page informational pamphlet describing five phases of strategic planning for cooperatives, useful for cooperative leaders and for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 10 Strategic Planning

1995. Four-page informational pamphlet that describes the legal incorporating and organizational documents that cooperatives use that is useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 9 Legal Foundations of a Cooperative

1995. Four-page informational pamphlet that describes the income tax treatment of cooperatives that is useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 8 Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives

 1994. Four-page informational pamphlet describing the ways cooperatives attain financing for their operations touching upon various equity programs and debt capital attainment, useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 7 Financing Cooperatives

2002. Spanish version. Four-page informational pamphlet on the roles of the manager and employees of a cooperative organization, useful for educational purposes.  CIR 45 Section 6 Who Runs the Cooperative Business? General Manager and Employees | Spanish Version

 1995. Four-page informational pamphlet on the roles of the manager and employees of a cooperative organization, useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 5 Who Runs the Cooperative Business? Board of Directors | Spanish Version

2002. Spanish version. Four-page informational pamphlet on the duties and responsibilities of the cooperative board of directors, including how directors are elected, and the officer roles of a board, useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 4 Who Runs the Cooperative Business? Members | Spanish Version

1994. Four-page informational pamphlet on the duties and responsibilities of the cooperative board of directors, including how directors are elected, and the officer roles of a board, useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 3 The Structure of Cooperatives | Spanish Version

 2011. Four-page informational pamphlet describing the history of cooperative principles and traditional principles  and practices of cooperatives, useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 2 Cooperative Business Principles

2011. Four-page informational pamphlet that discusses the different business arrangements in the American free enterprise system and how cooperatives fit within that system, useful for educational purposes. CIR 45 Section 1 Understanding Cooperatives: The American System of Business

 2002. Spanish version. Four-page informational pamphlet describing the different structures (geographic, governance, functions, financial) pertaining to cooperatives, useful for educational purposes. CIR 44 Citations Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Table of Citations

 2011. Four-page informational pamphlet describing the different structures (geographic, governance, functions, financial) pertaining to cooperatives, useful for educational purposes. CIR 44 Part 5 Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Handling of Losses

2005. Cooperative tax rules are a logical combination of the unique attributes of a cooperative and the income tax scheme in the Internal Revenue Code. This booklet describes IRS Code 521. CIR 44 Part 4 Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Internal Revenue Code Section 521

 2005. Cooperative tax rules are a logical combination of the unique attributes of a cooperative and the income tax scheme in the Internal Revenue Code. This booklet describes patrons' taxation. CIR 44 Part 3 Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Distribution, Retains, Redemptions, and Patrons' Taxation

2005. Cooperative tax rules are a logical combination of the unique attributes of a cooperative and the income tax scheme in the Internal Revenue Code. This booklet describes patronage refunds. CIR 44 Part 2 Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Patronage Refunds

2005. Cooperative tax rules are a logical combination of the unique attributes of a cooperative and the income tax scheme in the Internal Revenue Code. This booklet provides important background information. CIR 44 Part 1 Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Background

1991. This report can help members understand and analyze their cooperative financial statements. The financial statements contained in a cooperative annual report are the memberschief source of financial information about their cooperative. CIR 43 Working with Financial Statements - Guide for Cooperative Members

 1993. Farmer cooperatives are more effective in securing favorable government decisions when they have an active, structured public policy program. Members play important roles in shaping and implementing that program. CIR 42 Co-op Involvement in Public Policy

1995. Directors, managers, and advisers of new and developing cooperatives need to be well informed about the importance of an annual audit. This publication summarizes information concerning audits and reviews of accounting systems. CIR 41 Annual Audits - Board Responsibilities

1990. This report explains the rationale for the primary legal documents required to establish and operate a cooperative. It discusses each issue usually covered in each document and presents options that organizers and leaders might consider in drafting and reviewing the documents. CIR 40 Sample Legal Documents for Cooperatives

 1993. This publication provides directors and managers of farmer cooperatives with guidelines for writing, adopting, and implementing policies. Three broad classes of policies are presented-board, management, and personnel. CIR 39 Sample Policies for Cooperatives

 1989. This report explains the essentials of antitrust law and why limited antitrust protection granted in the Capper-Volstead Act is critical to cooperative marketing by agricultural producers. It outlines who is covered by Capper-Volstead, how a cooperative must be organized to qualify for limited antitrust protection, and what types of activity are protected. CIR 38 Managing Cooperative Antitrust Risk

 1991. This report analyzes the problems inactive members pose for the cooperative character, legal status, and management efficiency of an agricultural cooperative. Bylaws and policies to correct any weaknesses in a cooperative's current approach to inactive members are discussed and examples provided. CIR 37 Keeping Cooperative Membership Rolls Current

1990. Describes strategies for recruiting employees and methods and programs for training them about the cooperative business that they are part of. CIR 36 Recruiting and Training Co-op Employees

2009. Brochure that provides information to give the reader an understanding of the basic meaning of the Capper-Volstead Act and its special implications for agricultural producers, associations of producers, and the general public. CIR 35 Understanding Capper-Volstead

1996. Farmers and others who serve as directors of farmer cooperatives are subject to responsibility rules applicable to all corporations and are subject to the same liabilities when those responsibilities are not met. This study surveys and discusses sources of liability faced by cooperative directors and suggests practices and behavior that may help avoid liability risks. CIR 34 Director Liability in Agricultural Cooperatives

 2000. Craft cooperatives, guilds, or informal organizations have been of major importance in solving marketing problems faced by craftspeople. This publication gives a brief review of craft development in the United States, discusses the cooperative approach to solving craft marketing problems, and offers development guidelines for craft cooperatives. CIR 33 The Cooperative Approach to Crafts

1991. Informational pamphlet that briefly describes four alternatives for equity redemption in cooperatives. CIR 31 Equity Redemption Guide

1991. This booklet provides background and references for educational programs on cooperatives. A list of organizations and their bulletins, books, visuals, and periodicals is given at the end of this publication. These provide ready reference for developing, organizing, financing, and operating cooperatives. CIR 29 Advising People About Cooperatives

 1990. This report emphasizes the functions performed by 34 cooperatives. It also provides guidelines emphasizing the important requirements for organizing fruit and vegetable cooperatives that will have efficient and effective operations. CIR 27 Small Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Cooperative Operations

1988. This book serves as a guide to growers who want to organize a bargaining association, or who serve in a leadership role with an organization already in existence. The book can help to show them how to use bargaining to improve their returns from farming.  CIR 26 Cooperative Farm Bargaining and Price Negotiations

1988. Publication is a program designed to help cooperatives sponsor youth. It helps cooperatives as they work with teachers, advisers, Extension agents, and others in their youth programs. Emphasis is on the role of cooperatives in the American business system, how this system is organized and operates, and its opportunities for employment. CIR 25 Opportunities in Cooperatives - A Leader's Program for Youth

1995. Informational pamphlet describing the federal tax treatment of cooperatives given their  member-equity plans and circumstances. CIR 23 Tax Treatment of Cooperatives

1992. This booklet describes how to conduct the annual meeting, required in bylaws, for a cooperative. CIR 21 Organizing and Conducting Cooperatives' Annual Meetings

 Informational booklet about the characteristics and responsibilities of a cooperative employee. Includes illustrations throughout. (The information in this publication is now included in CIR 11.) CIR 18 What Co-op Employees Do

Informational booklet describing the role, responsibilities, and characteristics of a cooperative manager. Includes illustrations throughout. (The information in this publication is now included in CIR 11.) CIR 16 What the Co-op Manager Does

 Informational booklet about the characteristics, roles, and responsibilities of a cooperative director. Includes illustrations throughout. (The information in this publication is now included in CIR 11.) CIR 14 What Co-op Directors Do

Informational booklet about the important roles and responsibilities of a good cooperative member. Includes illustrations throughout. (The information in this publication is now included in CIR 11.) CIR 12 Members Make Co-ops Work

2001. This educational guide explains what cooperatives areheir business, principle, and structural characterizations,and the responsibilities and roles of cooperative members, directors, managers,and employees. Includes corresponding PowerPoint slides for each of the 5 chapters. (This publication replaces CIRs 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18.) CIR 11 Cooperatives: What They Are and the Role of Members, Directors, Managers, and Employees Cooperatives | PowerPoint

Informational booklet describing what cooperatives are, their principles and practices. Includes illustrations throughout. (The information in this publication is now included in CIR 11.) CIR 10 What Are Cooperatives

1993. Informational pamphlet describing the importance of patronage refunds  in a cooperative. CIR 9 What Are Patronage Refunds?

1996. This guide outlines the process of organizing and financing a cooperative business. Rather than being a complete handbook, this publication represents the most important elements to consider when forming a cooperative.  CIR 7 How to Start a Cooperative

2011. This publication is written for audiences at the secondary and postsecondary levels, or for anyone interested in agricultural cooperatives. The different types of cooperatives are described as well as their structural and organizational characteristics, and it explains how they are governed and financed. Student questions are posed at the end of chapters. CIR 5 Cooperatives in Agribusiness

1997. Report discusses cooperative international trade, including information on exporting, alliances, and strategies that cooperatives use. CIR 1,Section 27 Cooperatives in International Trade

2004. This report provides some historical data on farmer cooperatives going back to the early 1900s. CIR 1, Section 26 Cooperative Historical Statistics

 1996. Report discusses farmer cooperativesrole in the petroleum industry. CIR 1, Section 23 Cooperative Petroleum Operations

1990. This report provides information of cooperativessignificant control  of portions of the manufacturing and marketing of fertilizer, agrichemicals, and seed. Through their cooperatives, farmers have obtained a broad variety of products and services efficiently and economically and gained significant benefits. CIR 1, Section 22 Cooperative Agrichemical and Seed Operations

1991. This report describes cooperative operations of feed and animal health supplies for sale to their  farmer members. CIR 1, Section 21 Cooperative Feed and Animal Health Operations

 1989. Report provides statistics of various supplies and equipment sales by farm supply cooperatives. CIR 1, Section 20 Cooperative Supply and Equipment Operations

1987. Report discusses cooperative marketing of special crops including sugar and other sweeteners; tobacco; dry beans, peas, and lentils (pulses); seed; forest products; and hay. CIR 1, Section 19 Special Crops Cooperatives

1985. Report discusses cooperative operations in the cotton industry around four general functions: ginning, warehousing, lint merchandising, and cottonseed processing, including statistical analysis. CIR 1, Section 18 Cotton Cooperatives

 2005. Report describes cooperatives significant role in the dairy industry, including statistical analysis. CIR 1, Section 16 Dairy Cooperatives

1979. Report discusses livestock and wool cooperatives and their operations, including statistical analysis. CIR 1, Section 14 Livestock and Wool Cooperatives

1990. Report discusses marketing operations of fruit and vegetable cooperatives, including statistical analysis. CIR 1, Section 13 Fruit and Vegetable Cooperatives

1978. Report discusses cooperative transportation and distribution channels as well as changes and developments. CIR 1, Section 12 Cooperative Transportation and Distribution

1995. Report discusses the specialized field of cooperative finance and taxation. It provides a historical perspective and gives information on cooperative equity programs and on capital and taxation. CIR 1, Section 9 Cooperative Financing and Taxation

1997. Report describes the role of cooperative management including responsibility for cooperative functions and resources, divisions of control, and other management aspects. CIR 1, Section 8 Cooperative Management

1993. Report describes member features, objectives, and responsibilities in a cooperative. CIR 1, Section 7 Cooperative Member Responsibilities and Control

 1993. Report describes the organization and structural attributes of marketing and purchasing cooperatives. CIR 1, Section 6 Cooperative Organization and Structure

1993. Report provides information on cooperative organizations that work on behalf of cooperatives, from national cooperative organizations, to general farm organizations, to federal and state governmental agencies. CIR 1, Section 5 Organizations Serving Cooperatives

1990. Report discusses benefits cooperatives provide to members and the public, and the limitations that cooperatives have in the marketplace. CIR 1, Section 3 Cooperative Benefits and Limitations