Here is your free cd-rom of a new co-op curriculum for high school students thanks to a grant from the CHS Foundation. Some of you may recall the co-op curriculum produced by USDA in the late 1980’s. This is the 2010 edition of that curriculum, digitalized and rewritten for classrooms in Wisconsin.
Co-ops are everywhere—in every community in Wisconsin and in almost every industry. This cd-rom will help you teach about history, economics, and business practices behind cooperatives. We’ve profiled local cooperatives and collected Wisconsin based research in order to put a local, friendly touch on these concepts. Our goal is to help you, the instructor, deliver strong content to your students.
We would also like to support students who show interest in cooperatives. We host two youth conferences for high school students—the Co-ops Yes! Youth Leadership Conference held in the spring and the WECA Youth Leadership Congress held on the UW-River Falls campus in the summer. Information about these conferences is posted on our website www.cooperativenetwork.coop. Cooperatives of all types have local scholarship programs for students who wish to further their education and perhaps pursue careers in cooperatives.
We will be periodically posting updates to the cd-rom to our website, as well as additional resource material such as videos and radio interviews. Please let us know if you need more copies of the cd-rom or if you have colleagues that would like a copy. I can be reached at my or 608-258-4405.
Thank you for your interest.
David Erickson, Director of Member Services, Cooperative Network
Introduction to Using
This instructor's guide, Understanding Cooperatives, is designed for use by
secondary and adult teachers of agricultural education courses.
All informational and
reference materials are included in electronic format on this CD.
However, teacher and student references in the Cooperative Information
Report (CIR) series are available in hard copies at no charge upon
request from USDA Rural Development's Cooperative Programs.
For each Unit, all the
applicable teaching documents (i.e., the unit's introduction and
directions, discussion guide, index, handouts, case study exercises,
and quizzes) are included in .pdf or .doc format for easy printing by
instructor. The files are included on the main page of the
Local Unit – Cooperatives in Wisconsin introduces cooperatives by profiling local
co-ops across several industries, and discusses recent trends and
studies specific to Wisconsin. May be used as either an introductory
unit to place the course in a Wisconsin context, or used in conjunction
with later units (such as Unit 3).
Unit 1 - The American Business Enterprise
System teaches the student
how businesses are organized in the United States, identifies the
characteristics of each form of business, and discusses how the members
and/or owners benefit from each.
Unit 2 - Cooperative Business Principles identifies the basic concepts that separate
cooperative business from other business forms and explores cooperative
Unit 3 - The Structure of Cooperatives teaches the traditional areas that classify
cooperatives by financial, geographical, control, and functional
structures. The unit also explores a variety of other structural
arrangements modern cooperatives are using in today's changing economic
Unit 4 - Finance and Taxation of
Cooperatives teaches about
cooperative financing and how cooperatives are taxed. Special emphasis
is placed on the different methods used by members to finance their
Unit 5 - The Cooperative Business Team:
Members and Directors - Policy & Control teaches the rights and responsibilities of
cooperative members as they participate in the cooperative either in
their role as a member/patron, or as an elected director of the
Unit 6 - The Cooperative Business Team:
Manager and Employees - Coordination & Operations teaches the responsibilities of cooperative
managers and employees. Instruction centers on the separation of
function between management and employees.
Unit 7 - Mini Cooperative Business
knowledge from the previous units, students work within the framework
of a select service or marketing project. Beginning with the
pre-organization activities and ending with the distribution of earned
income, the instruction becomes more than just classroom exercises.