Co-ops commit to their communities

By James Jirak
Special to the I-R

For some, a co-op might mean the tallest building in town, envisioning the towering grain elevators dotting the rural Kansas landscape. It might mean the local telephone company, the folks that keep the lights on, the local filling station, or the local credit union, bringing services to communities that otherwise may have limited options. But to me, a co-op is all these things and more.

When I see a co-op, no matter the type, I think of a business that provides jobs to their local community, keeps profits in their local economy, pays local taxes and supports their community. In Kansas, coops operate in every county, serving over 600,000 members. Member-owned, member-controlled co-ops are established because there is a need for service, often in rural areas and working cooperatively is the best way to provide service for the benefit of all members.

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