SMECO newsletter

volume 67 - issue 10 - October 2017

Celebrate Co-op Awareness Month

In 1964, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman proclaimed October to be Co-op month. This started an annual tradition of honoring cooperatives in all their forms across the United States.

There are more than 40,000 cooperative businesses in the United States with 350 million members (some people belong to more than one co-op). These cooperatives generate $514 billion in revenue and more than $25 billion in wages, according to a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, with support from USDA Rural Development.

Cooperatives represent a strong business model and contribute to both the national and local economies, generating jobs in their communities, keeping profits local and paying local taxes to help support community services. Cooperatives often take part in community improvement programs also. Concern for community is one of the seven principles that guide cooperatives.

• Voluntary, open membership

• Democratic owner control

• Owner economic participation

• Autonomy and independence

• Education, training, and information

• Cooperation among cooperatives

• Concern for the community

As a co-op, SMECO is honored to celebrate the shared principles and values of the cooperative way.