Cooperatives' Response Needed for 1999 Survey
The annual survey of farmer
cooperatives conducted by USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is the
only source of detailed information on cooperatives and their service to
American agriculture. This data source, the only one with a national scope,
provides an important view of cooperatives' progress, growth and trends.
Data are collected annually to gauge current cooperative activities, develop trend lines, and obtain needed information for important research, education, and information on cooperatives.
How are the data collected?
The data are collected through the
use of questionnaires. Similar questions are asked each year so that important
data series can be maintained. Periodically, additional questions are included
for conducting special studies of various aspects of farmer cooperatives. The
1999 survey will collect additional information for a special study of local
cooperatives' involvement in providing crop protectants to their members.
Forms are mailed in early September to all cooperatives ending their business year between January and June. Cooperatives whose business year ends from July through September receive a questionnaire in early December. Those whose business year ends in the last quarter receive questionnaires in early March of the following year. Cooperatives are encouraged to furnish a copy of their annual or audit report along with the completed questionnaire. Such reports provide important information not requested on the questionnaire.
USDA/RBS staff maintain data for use in research, education and technical assistance. Any data used in presentations or publications are combined to maintain the confidentiality of individual cooperatives. Individual report forms are kept strictly confidential.
How are the data used?
Data collected from the annual survey of farmer cooperatives are combined, expanded to represent the total population, and selected data are published in reports such as: Rural Cooperatives, Statistical Abstract of the United States and Agricultural Statistics. Farmer cooperative statistics are used by cooperative leaders, educators, researchers, policymakers and others interested in farmer cooperatives. Agency staff frequently use the information for important studies and presentations. Educational materials, from pamphlets to college textbooks, rely heavily on statistics collected by the agency. Many people, including foreign visitors, contact the agency when they want to learn about the structure and operation of U.S. farmer cooperatives.
How can farmer cooperative statistics be acquired?
A copy of the annual statistics report is sent to each cooperative.
Additional copies of the report can be ordered from RBS. If you have questions
regarding farmer cooperative statistics, please call, e-mail or write Charles A.
Kraenzle at (202) 7203189, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or USDA/RBS/Statistics,
STOP 3256, 1400 Independence Ave, SW,
Washington, DC, 20250-3256.
Return to Table of Content