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Co-op Month: Study Reveals Strong Preference For Co-ops
MADISON, Wis. (10/18/13)--Seventy-four percent of consumers in Minnesota and Wisconsin prefer to do business with cooperatives, including credit unions, based on past experience,  according to a St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute Survey commissioned by Cooperative Network.
 
Click to view larger image North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple proclaimed October Co-op Month in the state. Representatives included, from left, Jeff Olson, Credit Union Association of the Dakotas; Stan Vagness, North Dakota Association of Telecommunication Cooperatives; Mike O'Keeffe, Farm Credit Services of Mandan; Dennis Hill, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives; Dalrymple; Woody Barth, North Dakota Farmers Union; Carl Younce, CHS; and Larry Holst, Land O'Lakes. (Photo provided by Credit Union Association of the Dakotas)
October is International Co-op Month. This year's theme is "Collaborate, Communicate, Cooperate," illustrating a proven, grassroots alternative for economic progress.
 
When asked about financial services providers, 61% of survey respondents said they would prefer the services offered by a credit union. About 66% percent of Wisconsin residents chose a credit union, while 55% of Minnesota residents preferred credit union services.
 
Cooperative Network's 2013 co-op study was funded by CHS Inc., a global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and co-ops nationwide. In the study, the research institute randomly polled 400 people in Minnesota and Wisconsin about their opinions and use of cooperatives, and it contrasted the results to a comparable study performed in 2007, prior to the U.S. financial crisis.
 
Other notable findings included:
  • 47% of respondents indicated there was at least one family member who belonged to a co-op, compared to 36% in 2007.
  • 69% of people who ran a business within their home were also members of a co-op, statistically similar to 2007 results.
  • 18% of people associated the words "teamwork/collaboration" with "co-op" or "cooperative"--a correlation that did not appear in the 2007 study.
In North Dakota, Gov. Jack Dalrymple proclaimed October as "Co-op Month" to recognize the valuable contributions that cooperatives bring to the state. Based on data provided by the North Dakota Secretary of State, 332 businesses operating in North Dakota identified themselves as cooperatives in 2012.  
 
The total economic value of all cooperative-related business operating in North Dakota generated or induced $22.6 billion in the state's economy, according to a recent study by the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives at North Dakota State University.


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