Minnesota is the first state in the country to try to limit water pollution by regulating fertilizer application. Scientists are researching the effectiveness of farmers' choices, from crop rotation to nanotechnology
Co-ops are not just for grocery stores anymore. Member and worker-owned co-ops for housing, farming, rural electricity, and other big projects that have societal benefits — including sustainable businesses and living wages— are on the rise in Minnesota.
Minnesota already has a thriving food cooperative scene with cooperatives existing on multiple levels from workers and producers to sellers and consumers. A 2014 Cooperative Development Services study found there were 17 grocery co-ops with almost 100,000 member-owners supporting them, alongside 50,000 additional non-member shoppers. As well, in the years since the 2014 study was completed, several cooperatives, many in the Twin Cities, have expanded or opened anew.
“Cooperatives are an economic tool, but they are also a community organizing and development tool, and a power-building tool, if we use it as that,” said Christina Jennings, executive director for Shared Capital Cooperative (SCC). Supporting cooperatives to build a more just and equitable cooperative economy is SCC’s mission. SCC is organized as a cooperative, founded by cooperatives, and currently owned by 225 cooperatives in 35 states.
“Building a viable cooperative can be really powerful for the community,” says Jennings. The equitable work environment a co-op creates has impact beyond the organization. Workers “can then imagine something they might not have been able to imagine before.”
Co-ops Are Custom Built For Communities They Serve (more…)
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