This How to Start a Cooperative module is part of the Biomass Energy Training Curriculum, 13 modules developed through a Southern SARE grant and collaboration between Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee, eXtension.org, and USDA-Rural Development. While it is written as a training guide for TN producers, much of the information is applicable throughout the Southeastern US region.
This curriculum is designed to increase the knowledge base of extension agents and local officials on biomass energy; so that they may, in turn, provide this information to their stakeholders.
Link to the full Biomass Energy Training Curriculum
This module covers the timeline and phases of starting a cooperative (I. Identify economic need, II. Deliberate, III. Implement, IV. Execute), and provides general rules for success and potential pitfalls.
Learning objectives: Participants will be able to identify the steps involved in creating a cooperative and explain the potential pitfalls involved in creating a cooperative.
Curriculum Materials – How to Start a Cooperative:
- Presentation slides
- Participant handout
- Lesson guide – provides informative notes, test questions, and an evaluation form.
More Information from other specialists:
- References and Additional Resources for Biomass Training Curriculum
USDA Rural Development Publications for Cooperatives
- Co-ops 101: An Introduction to Cooperatives – USDA Cooperative Information Report 55
- How to Start a Cooperative – USDA Rural Development Cooperative Information Report 7
- Co-op Essentials: What They Are and the Role of Members, Directors, Managers, & Employees – USDA Cooperative Information Report 11
- Vital Steps: A Cooperative Feasibility Study Guide – USDA Service Report 58
- Madison Principles: professional standards for developers – Cooperation Works!: the Cooperative Development Network
- Creating Co-op Fever: The Hard Lessons Learned – Bill Patrie, Common Enterprise Development Corp.
- Resources from Cooperative specialists across the U.S.– eXtension.org
- Michigan State University Extension series on Starting a Cooperative
Module Author Jason de Koff is an Associate Professor of Agronomy and Soil Science for Tennessee State University’s Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. His research focuses on bioenergy crop production, with specific interests in switchgrass and winter canola production. His extension training programs and educational resources provide current bioenergy production information to producers. Find his latest on Twitter: @TSUBioenergy
These training resources are freely available for educational purposes under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please provide attribution: The Biomass Energy Training Curriculum by Jason de Koff, Tennessee State University; funded by Southern SARE.
If you wish to adapt these curriculum materials for your own educational purposes, please contact the Curriculum Author for permission and files:
Specialists from Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee, eXtension.org, and USDA-Rural Development developed this Biomass Energy Curriculum, with funding from Southern SARE.
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program’s mission is to advance—to the whole of American agriculture—innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. SARE is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA. www.sare.org.