A Cooperative Approach to Local Economic Development

A Cooperative Approach to Local Economic Development

by Christophe Merrett, Norman Walzer


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Historically, the relationship between towns and surrounding farm families has ranged from suspicion to benign neglect. This book shows that rural America can be revived by uniting the interests of both farm and non-farm populations through value-added enterprises, especially those based on the principles of New Generation Cooperatives (NGCs). Instead of sending agricultural commodities out of the region to be processed, farmers and communities can collaborate to process the commodities locally, thereby adding value to the local rural economy.

In this edited volume, nationally recognized scholars discuss the on-going challenges to the agricultural sector such as declining farm subsidies and commodity prices, and the strategies used by rural communities to respond to economic decline. Specific attention is paid to the role of NGCs as a specific form of value-added agriculture which has helped some rural communities to prosper. The NGCs, however, extend well beyond traditional agriculture to include grocery stores, day care centers, and other businesses that have not always been profitable in small towns. The broader objective of the book is to show how increased collaboration among farm producers, small businesses, and community leaders can promote economic development in rural regions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781567203950
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/30/2000
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER D. MERRETT is an Assistant Professor of Geography in the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. He has published numerous articles on NAFTA, welfare reform, and other rural issues.

NORMAN WALZER is Professor of Economics and Director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. He is the editor of numerous articles and books, including Local Government Innovation: Issues and Trends in Privatization and Managed Competition with Robin A. Johnson (Quorum Books, 2000)

Table of Contents


Introduction by Norman Walzer and Christopher D. Merrett

Traditional Versus New Generation Cooperatives by Murray Fulton

Starting a New Generation Cooperative by Robert Cropp

Cooperative Organization for Value-Added Agribusinesses by Mark J. Hanson

New Generation Cooperatives and Cooperative Community Development by E. G. Nadeau and Corinne Wilson

New Generation Cooperatives as an Economic Development Strategy by Lee Egerstrom

A Survey of New Generation Cooperatives: Exploring Alternative Forms of Rural Economic Development by Christopher D. Merrett and Norman Walzer

Accessing Urban Markets Through New Generation Cooperatives by Duncan Hilchey

Value-Added Enterprises in the Rural Economy by Joan R. Fulton and Kevin Andreson

Putting Cooperative Theory into Practice: The 21st Century Alliance by Chris Williams and Christopher D. Merrett

New Generation Cooperatives in the New Millennium by Doeke Faber and Lee Egerstrom

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