Like co-ops themselves, this annual observation is a do-it-yourself effort. Let your members know that your co-op celebrates its unique business structure and service to them, and that it in turn fully appreciates their participation. Get prepared — October is the perfect time to do this!
Co-op Month Activity Ideas
- Hold an open house at your co-op. Include tours of a co-op facility. A farmers' co-op could show visitors how you mix different types of livestock feed or test members’ milk quality. Have a GPS-enabled applicator rig available as part of your tour and explain how such gear helps to reduce the environmental impact of farming. Offer directions to a member farm they can also visit.
- Supply stores can hold a raffle and cookout to boost interest in their open house. These types of activities can be a great way to showcase the services and products of the cooperative.
- Set up Co-op Month posters at your cooperative and/or at a public facility.
- Hold a workshop for members and/or the general public on an important topic for your co-op. For example, an electric co-op can hold a workshop on energy conservation in homes and businesses or address what the co-op is doing to promote renewable energy.
- Write a letter to the editor about the importance of co-ops in the economy and the part your co-op plays locally.
- Contact your governor’s office with a draft of a state Co-op Month Proclamation (this is sometimes done by state co-op councils, so check with them first. This often takes many weeks of lead time).
- Add some Co-op Month content to your website.
- Perform a community service project or hold a fund raiser in observance of Co-op Month. These activities can range from cleaning up a stretch of highway or a public park to staging an event such as the annual race in Washington, D.C., held to raise money for co-op development.
- Hold a Co-op Month breakfast, luncheon or dinner for members and/or community members, and include a short co-op presentation.
- Co-op stores can distribute special coupons for members to use during October.
- Provide co-op educational brochures and booklets at your event, such as the “Do Yourself a Favor, Join a Co-op” brochure from USDA Rural Development. Click here to see the co-op publications available from USDA. To order, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (202) 720-6483.
- Check out these cool coloring books from Cooperative Network!