Farmers’ Cooperative Viability Assessment


Abigail Becker


Green County
Community Size
University of Wisconsin - Madison
UniverCity Year
Case Type
Project Stories
Focus Areas
Agricultural Economics, Applied Economics
EPA Region 5, USA
University Department Code
Sustainable Development Goals
08 Decent Work and Economic Growth
Population Type
Business Owners and Consumers

This project was completed by this class as a part of the 2018-2019 UniverCity Year partnership with Green County. Green County is the UniverCity Year partner for the 2017-2020 academic years. Local
government and community leaders have identified projects for faculty and students to work on. Green
County is located in South Central Wisconsin and is known for their rich agricultural history, pastoral
scenery, and small-town atmosphere.
Interest was shown in starting a cooperative for farmers in Green County. First, a survey was conducted
to see how many farmers were interested in being a part of a cooperative as well as what areas showed the
most interest. There were 30 responses to the survey, giving us a number of different data points. The
results of the survey showed that the majority of farmers were interested in cooperative that involved tool
sharing, labor sharing, and collective marketing. Based on the results of the survey, four different case
studies were conducted to see how other cooperatives are structured to meet the needs of their members.
These case studies were chosen because they provide services to their members that farmers in Green
County showed interest in based on the survey. These case studies give a foundation for Green County
farmers to build off of if they choose to create a cooperative. Conclusions were drawn that this
cooperative could start out by offering collective marketing tools to its members as well as selective tool
sharing. A labor sharing cooperative seems feasible but some decisions would have to be made about
structure for that cooperative.

Read the final student report delivered to the local gov/community partner.

UniverCity Year Contact Info
Gavin Luter
Managing Director

University Faculty Contact
Courtney Berner
Agricultural and Applied Economics

Local Government / Community Contact
Cara Carper

Head of Economic Development

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