GROWMARK, FS, and other cooperatives across the U.S. will celebrate cooperative enterprise and the contributions cooperatives make to social and economic development this October as part of National Co-op Month.
In addition to National Co-op Month, the GROWMARK System is also celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2012, and participating in the year-long International Year of Cooperatives as designated by the United Nations.
The theme of Co-op Month, and the International Year of Cooperatives, is “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World,” which reflects the contributions cooperatives make to their members and communities.
Nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives, like GROWMARK, FS, and grain member cooperatives, account for as many as 300,000 jobs worldwide and a total payroll of more than $8 billion.
Cooperatives operate under a set of guidelines known as the cooperative principles. Doing business with the values of voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, members’ economic participation, autonomy and independence, education, training and information, cooperation among cooperatives and concern for community sets cooperatives apart and inspires loyalty and commitment from their member owners.
More than 29,000 cooperatives operate in every sector of the economy and in every congressional district; Americans hold more than 350 million co-op memberships. Further, U.S. cooperatives generate 2 million jobs and make a substantial contribution to the U.S. economy with annual sales of $652 billion and possess assets of $3 trillion.
The GROWMARK System is comprised of FS and grain member cooperatives and subsidiaries, and employs more than 7,000 people who, in turn, serve more than 250,000 customers. More information is available here.