The Farmers Union has a rich history with cooperative business development.

From its founding, the Farmers Union has promoted farmer-owned cooperatives as a way to level the economic playing field for family farmers. The Farmers Union itself is a service cooperative formed for the benefit of its farmer members.

Over the past century, the Farmers Union has helped organize farmers to form:

With the rapid growth of local and regional food systems in Iowa, we see a renewed need for the development of farmer-owned cooperatives to allow farmers to pool their resources to achieve an economically viable scale for distribution, marketing, processing and storage – without sacrificing local ownership and control.

The Iowa Farmers Union works with its members to provide education and resources on cooperatives business development and to support a new generation of farmer-owned cooperatives.

Some major milestones in the Farmers Union’s history of cooperative development include:


Cooperative Resources:

USDA Rural Development Cooperative Programs

USDA’s How to Start a Cooperative

Rural Cooperatives Magazine