This effort provides a wide range of assistance for rural residents interested in forming a new cooperative. Our assistance can range from an initial feasibility study to the creation and implementation of a business plan. The program strives to provide a realistic view of what it will take to make a new cooperative succeed. At times, this assistance determines that a cooperative will not serve the needs of the members and recommends that a cooperative not be incorporated.
Technical assistance to existing cooperatives can include helping develop a strategic marketing plan to cope with new competitive forces, helping a Board make a crucial decision whether to merge or form a joint venture with other cooperatives, or how to turn a raw product into value added goods. Deborah will also provide training for cooperative directors and employees.
Ohio’s Cooperative Services program is supported by a staff in the National
Office that specializes in the many areas critical for the success of cooperatives.
In addition to the cooperative development division, there is a cooperative
marketing division and a cooperative services division. This staff
conducts research to provide a knowledge base necessary to deal with changing
markets and business trends.
Working together cooperatively, the Cooperative Services program is helping people of rural Ohio develop sustainable communities.