updated: 5/7/2012 11:32:55 AM

Cooperatives Examine Economic Role

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The Indianapolis-based Mid America Cooperative Council has joined the national economic recovery discussion. Executive Director Rod Kelsay met with several cooperative leaders and federal policymakers during a White House meeting last week. They examined ways cooperatives could help the recovery through job creation and local investment.

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May 5, 2012

News Release

(Washington, D.C.; Indianapolis, Ind.) - Approximately 150 cooperative leaders from all sectors of the economy and corners of the nation met top policymakers at the White House on May 4, 2012; to discuss how their organizations spur economic recovery through job creation and ongoing investments in their local communities. The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) coordinated the briefing with top White House policymakers.

Prior to the White House briefing, Mr. Kelsay met with John Wells, Director/ Education and Research Division, USDA; and James Wadsworth, Agricultural Economist/Program Leader, USDA. The USDA is very interested in obtaining educational materials from MACC, regarding itsí Board Chairman Roundtable education program. MACC partnered with Dr. Greg McKee, Director of the Center for Cooperatives at North Dakota University; to develop the Board Chairman training program. The program focuses on Governance Policies for cooperatives and Board Succession Planning to ensure continuing board quality for cooperatives, in the future. The USDA will distribute the education training materials to Board Chairman, across all sectors of cooperative businesses.

On Friday, May 4, Rod met with the Administration at the White House Community Leaders Briefing. This meeting touched on many topics, including the Rural Council Roundtable, chaired by Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. All federal agencies that are engaged in programs in rural America are members of this council. MACCís goal is to make individuals who live in rural Indiana know they have a platform to discuss the coordination of federal programs. The cooperative leaders at the briefing informed the Administration that there are cooperative self-help approaches, to serving peopleís needs. As budgets get tightened, the cooperative self-help approach is a valuable alternative.

2012 - International Year of Cooperatives
2012 was named the International Year of Cooperatives, by the United Nations. It is a year long celebration of the cooperative business model and itsí positive economic impact across the globe, reminding us that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility. More information can be found at http://www.usa2012.coop/.

About the MACC
The Mid America Cooperative Council (MACC) is a multi-state, non-profit trade association for cooperative businesses founded in January of 2003. MACC members are cooperatives in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The associationís goal is to develop a core co-op educational curriculum, and provide resources with broad accessibility. The programs and conferences are portable and disseminated at a variety of member co-ops and other locations, throughout the year.

Source: The Mid America Cooperative Council

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