The National Cooperative Resource Ecosystem Map is part of a broader University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives project called “Collective Action in Rural Communities: Mapping Opportunities for Cooperative Conversion and Start-up.” It is funded by the National Institute for Agriculture’s Agriculture Food Research Initiative.
This tool is intended to enhance opportunities for cooperative entrepreneurship and development by providing research-based information to cooperative and economic developers, rural entrepreneurs, and policy makers.
Information presented in the ecosystem maps is derived from UWCC research into what factors contribute to new co-op development. Analysis of existing rural cooperative clusters indicates that some of the major factors are the presence of co-op development organizations and associations, co-op friendly finance institutions, and organizations providing legal support. Project research activities have included interviews, co-op developer surveys, site visits, as well as professional expertise and additional UWCC research.
The statute information is from the USDA’s Cooperative Statute Project. This is an ongoing effort using cooperative professionals to compile a comprehensive review of state cooperative statutes. The National Cooperative Business Association maintains the USDA State Cooperative Statute Library in a spreadsheet that includes additional information about each state statute.