THE COOPERATIVE WAY
Seven Cooperative Principles
Cooperatives around the world, including the Farm Credit System, follow the seven basic principles below. The roots of these principles can be traced back to Rochdale, England, where the first modern cooperative was founded in 1844.
- Voluntary and Open Membership. Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.
- Democratic Member Control. Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative. The members participate in setting policies and making decisions.
- Members’ Economic Participation. Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members according to the amount of business they conduct with the cooperative rather than the amount of money they invest in it.
- Autonomy and Independence. Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If a co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it does so based on terms that ensure democratic control by its members and the autonomy of the cooperative.
- Education, Training, and Information. Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
- Cooperation among Cooperatives. Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional, national, and international structures.
- Concern for Community. While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.
The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending institutions and specialized service organizations. Farm Credit provides more than $217 billion in loans, leases, and related services to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, aquatic producers, timber harvesters, agribusinesses, and agricultural and rural utility cooperatives.
Congress established the System in 1916 to provide a reliable source of credit for the nation’s farmers and ranchers. Today, the System provides more than one-third of the credit needed by those who live and work in rural America.
Farmers, ranchers, agribusiness, rural homeowners and rural utilities depend on the Farm Credit System’s funding and services to produce the high quality food and agricultural products enjoyed in the United States and around the globe.
After serving our communities for more than 100 years, we have:
A successfully run cooperative with $1.86 billion in assets
Nearly 1,200 member-borrowers
More than 120 employees
Since 2005 we've returned $119.5 million in cash to your bottom line.
We are committed to building a diverse team that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. We do this by attracting, developing, and retaining our employees. In addition to Diversity, an Inclusive culture is also essential to our success. Inclusion involves making others feel a part of the Association’s success and appreciating the variety in their backgrounds, styles, perspectives, and values. Embracing diversity and inclusion enables us to leverage our different talents to better serve our customers.
Diversity and inclusion is a part of how we do business, we strive to lead by example and integrate it into every layer of the Association:
Serving communities across the state.
CREED Council – Culture, Recruitment, Education, Engagement, and Diversity
- Community Outreach Program
- 4 hours of Volunteer paid time-off for all employees
- Diverse recruiting initiatives
- Diversity training for all staff and Board of Directors
- Employee Engagement Survey