Land grant universities have maintained long-standing extension, applied research, and teaching programs aimed at farmer cooperatives. The purpose is to outline and detail a focused effort to establish relevant research priorities. Representatives of farmer cooperatives with 82% of their business volume in 2014 participated in the project. The future of the farm, regulation, and data sets suitable for studying policy were the greatest research needs identified by the participants. Linkages with existing extension programming including a multiuniversity director foundations self-paced online program are described.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the helpful comments of Craig Gundersen, Chris Kopka, and an anonymous reviewer whose comments made this a better manuscript. This project was funded, in part, by CHS Foundation, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and various cooperative endowments at the author's universities.
Since the passage of the Cooperative Marketing Act of 1926, agricultural economics faculty at land grant universities work closely with farmer cooperatives on resident instruction, extension, and research‐based programming that includes curriculum with modules on accounting, finance, governance, human resources, leadership, and strategy. Recently funded research projects include a subscription project from twenty‐one firms on agribusiness employee occupational health and safety (Risch et al. 2014 ), a case study on cooperative governance and farmer‐ownership (McKee and Jacobs 2017 ), and studies focusing on cooperative finance and capitalization (Li, Jacobs, and Artz 2015 ; Briggeman et al. 2016 ). A series of research projects was funded by CoBank in 2018 through a higher education initiative. More than 700 students are enrolled annually in undergraduate courses in cooperatives and more than 4,000 directors and employees of cooperatives attend land grant university extension programs nationwide. A team effort led to an open‐access textbook on cooperatives and mutual in English and Spanish with peer review and suitable for tablet, e‐readers, audio, and a print‐on‐demand feature with no royalties (Boland et al. 2018 ).
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