A proclamation recognizing October as Cooperative Month was signed by Governor Pete Ricketts and presented by Lt. Governor Mike Foley in a ceremony at the State Capitol on September 17. Cooperative Month has been celebrated nationwide and in Nebraska for many years to call attention to the economic benefits which come from cooperative businesses.
The proclamation signed by the Governor notes that agricultural cooperatives serve the needs of Nebraskans in 374 rural communities across the state and employ over 5,400 people statewide. Cooperatives also invest nearly $186 million annually in facilities and equipment to serve farmers and ranchers while also returning nearly $78 million annually in patronage and equity redemption to their farmer and rancher owners.
In brief remarks at the signing ceremony, Rocky Weber, President & General Counsel of the Nebraska Cooperative Council, said “Cooperatives certainly contribute to the slogan ‘Nebraska - the Good Life’ by providing a $2 billion annual economic impact. Cooperatives also contribute to the ‘Good Life’ through their significant contributions to youth scholarships and youth organizations such as FFA and 4-H and to communities in their trade territory.”
In Nebraska, more than 40 cooperatives serve over 60,000 members in both rural and urban areas of the state. Cooperative businesses in Nebraska provide agricultural marketing, farm supplies, consumer goods, telephone, electricity, communications, and other products and services.
The Nebraska Cooperative Council, a statewide trade association representing all types of agricultural cooperatives, coordinated arrangements for Governor Ricketts to sign the proclamation. Participating in the event were representatives of the Nebraska Cooperative Council.