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University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives
This report was prepared by a core team of faculty and staff led by Brent Hueth, and comprising Steven Deller, Ann Hoyt, Matt Kures, Lynn Pitman, Anne Reynolds, and Reka Sundaram-Stukel. The team benefited greatly from excellent research assistance from Pilar Jano, Hedayat Moussavi, and Andrés Moya; and we are indebted to our two graduate-student IT-Gurus Badri Narayan Bhaskar and Mayank Maheshwari, who kept the project going. We would like to extend special acknowledgment to Catherine Levinten-Reid for her contributions early in the project. We would also like to thank our army of undergraduate research assistants Charity Bingham, Tracey Beechner, Christa Behnke, Katie Behnke, Kristen Degeneffe, Eugene Dreyster, Manju Gupta, Alia Jammaluddin, Elizabeth Johnson, Maren Maland, Chris McKim, Monica Sharma, Kevin Vandernaald, and Chris Wollum. Their cheerful telephone personalities and diligence made this analysis possible.
First and foremost, we are extremely grateful to the survey participants who took the time from their busy schedules to participate in the study. Without their participation and feedback, this study would not have been possible.
We would like to extend a special thanks to all agencies, organizations, and trade associations for their help in the population discovery, data collection, and survey promotion and for the many helpful comments and suggestions they provided. We are especially grateful to the following organizations for formally supporting our project proposal with letters of support, and for subsequently participating in our project: National Cooperative Business Association; Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; National Telecommunications Cooperative Association; National Cooperative Bank; Farm Credit Council; CoopMetrics; National Association of Housing Cooperatives; Parent Cooperative Preschools International; Filene Research Institute; Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives and Minnesota Association of Cooperatives; and CHS Foundation.
Excellent and extensive advice was given, during various conference calls and meetings, by Paul Hazen, Christina Clamp, Herb Fisher, John Hays, George A. Hofheimer, Terry Lewis, Martin Lowery, Mike Schenck, Tim Size, Marc T. Smith, Walden Swanson, David Thompson, Roger Wilcox, and John von Seggern. We are grateful to all. We also consulted with Elizabeth Bailey, Spyros Heniadis, Melissa Hoover, Melanie Hovey, Anne Katz, Mary Ann Rothman, Stu Schneider, Rick Shadelbauer, Marc Shafroth, Dr. Tun Wei, and many more that we forget to list.
We formed two advisory committees during the course of our research. The Cooperative Research Council served as a point of contact with the cooperative community and as a review panel for discussion paper proposals. The Boundaries Advisory Committee was formed to help us identify the legal, tax, and structural character of cooperatives to define our research population. We are deeply grateful to those who gave their time to these efforts.
The team gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the USDA's Cooperative Programs for providing us with the funding and opportunity to conduct this research project. We also gratefully acknowledge matching support from the members of the National Cooperative Business Association and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.