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Bringing Co-operatives Back In To The Community Economic Development Toolbox

Extension professionals have an impossible task: sit at the forefront of driving delivery of new public goods and services to overcome community economic development challenges in an era when legislatures everywhere have decided to prioritize slimmer budgets and lower taxes. How do we meet what seems to be the community economic development programming desires of the general electorate, while controlling for the fiscally conservative climate cutting across all blue and red legislatures?

It’s time to bring co-operative business development back in to community economic development policy.

This overview webinar will point to key moments in history where co-operatives were used to drive community economic development policy, and discuss their long-term impacts, provide key examples of the utilization of co-operatives in public policy elsewhere, specifically in the US Midwest and across Italy’s agrifoods sector, discuss current movements the are incorporating co-operative business development into community economic development policy, and suggest how state, regional, and national Extension professionals can leverage both policy and the existing sector for community economic development, even controlling for an unfriendly government funding environment.

Presented by Keith Taylor, a faculty Specialist in Community Economic Development (CED), whose classroom is the community. Keith’s research focuses on how we build economic development approaches that are enduring, enhance localized self-reliance, and account for volatile market and political forces by breaking dependency. 

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