Davis, CA, Aug 23, 2012 -- A diverse mix of 20 cooperatives and support organizations gathered on the West Steps of the State Capitol Tuesday for an informational event celebrating "Co-op Day at the Capitol" and recognizing the International Year of Cooperatives. The event was highlighted with speakers from USDA Rural Development, Agricultural Council of California, California Center for Cooperative Development, Alvarado Street Bakery and Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, and included a special proclamation presentation by California Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.
"'Co-op Day at the Capitol' was a great example of how California's co-ops joined together to celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives," said USDA Rural Development State Director Glenda Humiston. "We were proud to partner with Ag Council, CoBank and the Center for Cooperative Development to organize this event and help bring important awareness to our state's co-ops."
"Co-op Day at the Capitol" was held in support of the United Nation's designation of 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. The event featured cooperatives ranging from Golden State Power Cooperative to Placerville Natural Foods Co-op and from CoBank to The Artery, as well as several others representing agriculture, artisan, banking, consumer food, energy, housing, preschool/childcare, and worker sectors.
Cooperatives operate in every county in California and across all sectors of the California economy. California cooperative members serve a combined constituency of more than 1.5 million people. In the United States there are more than 29,000 cooperatives which generate 2 million jobs, and contribute to the economy with annual sales of $652 billion and assets of $3 trillion.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information visit us at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ca.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).