By Stephen Morris, Vermont Today
Jim Schley of South Strafford is a member of seven cooperatives. He lives in a cooperative housing community. He owns his home, but the land on which it sits is owned jointly with five other households. When he needed a loan for a septic system, he secured it from the Cooperative Fund of New England, which specializes in giving loans to cooperatives. He also could have gone to the Vermont State Employees Credit Union, whose membership is open to any resident of Orange County.
His home is insured by the Cooperative Insurance Co. of Middlebury. He is a member of two grocery co-ops (the Upper Valley Food Co-op and the Hanover Co-op, one of the oldest in the country). He is also a member of a pre-buy food co-op that allows his family to order food in bulk at a discount. When gardening time rolls around, he buy seeds from Fedco, a seed co-op. In short, nearly all of his family's needs are met by co-ops...
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