Cooperative Network is committed to protecting and promoting Minnesota’s and Wisconsin’s cooperative businesses and their shared cooperative principles. It provides world-class legislative and regulatory advocacy, a wide range of opportunities for education and engagement, and creative leadership in public awareness. Cooperative Network is the largest statewide co-op trade association in the United States, representing a diverse and active group of members.
The two-state association has a proud history of bringing together and strengthening the voice of cooperative businesses. The Minnesota Association of Cooperatives was founded in 1945 when cooperatives were under intense scrutiny, and the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives was formed in 1969 by two politically divergent organizations—the Wisconsin Association of Cooperatives, which served primarily consumer co-ops, and the Wisconsin Council of Agricultural Cooperatives. The Minnesota association entered into a management agreement with its Wisconsin counterpart in 1998. The two organizations became one in 2004 after members voted in favor of a formal unification. The association was renamed Cooperative Network in 2009.
Cooperative Network is governed by a board of directors made up of cooperative leaders from both states. Members gather each year to determine Cooperative Network’s legislative and educational priorities, and member committees meet throughout the year to develop and guide sector strategies.
Cooperative Network is a 501(c)(6) trade association and is registered as a 308B cooperative in Minnesota.