Nebraska Farmers Union Sponsors College Students Attendance to College Conference on Cooperatives

Lincoln, NE – 19 agricultural students and their professors from 3 different Nebraska Colleges traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota February 13-16 to learn about cooperatives under the guidance of Nebraska Farmers Union. The participating colleges included Northeast Community College at Norfolk, Southeast Community College at Beatrice, and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis. The College Conference on Cooperatives brought a total of 130 students from 35 different colleges and universities, from New York to all the way to Hawaii, making it the largest College Conference on Cooperatives held to date.
The Cooperative Conference included tours of the CHS (Cenex Harvest States) Headquarters, the REI Sports Sales Coop, housing coops, food coops, and the Mill City Flour Museum. The Conference brought in speakers from a vast array of areas including cooperatively owned grocery stores, ag coops, rural electric coops, credit unions, and new coops. NeFU Public Affairs Director Graham Christensen said, "We had another great conference. The feedback we received from the students and professors was very positive. The students learned about a host of different ways cooperatives can serve communities, and the wide range of career opportunities available that utilize the benefits of the cooperative approach to economic development. Everyone left Minneapolis excited about these new opportunities."
The conference evaluations revealed that 48% of the students in attendance were from farms or ranches, 17% were rural, 21% were from small towns, and the remaining 14% were urban. Christensen said, "The College Cooperative Conference helps make more students aware of additional cooperative tools that can be used to create the economic opportunities needed to help our rural youth stay in their communities. We are pleased to partner with these Nebraska colleges to help send Nebraska kids to this Conference."
The annual College Cooperative Conference is co-sponsored by the CHS Foundation in cooperation with the National Farmers Union Foundation. Nebraska Farmers Union was awarded a grant from the CHS Foundation to help defray the attendance costs for the Nebraska participants.

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