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National Co-op Month has been celebrated annually in October across the United States for more than half a century. Celebrated by cooperatives nationwide, Co-op Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of a trusted, proven way to do business and build communities. It is a time for cooperative businesses to reflect on their shared principles and to educate others about the value of belonging to a cooperative.

The 2020 theme, “Co-ops Commit: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” highlights how co-ops are creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces and boards, and how co-ops can better meet the needs of communities that have been excluded from economic participation and advancement.

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A BIT OF HISTORY

  • Minnesota was the first state to declare an official Co-op Month proclamation in 1948.

  • Co-op Month has been a nationally recognized celebration since 1964, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, a former Minnesota governor, proclaimed October Co-op Month.

  • The first national theme in 1964 was “Cooperatives: USDA Helps Build a Better America.”

  • The U.S. Government-sponsored Co-op Month from 1964-70.

  • Beginning in 1971, cooperatives, statewide associations, and the National Cooperative Business Association fueled their own events and promotions.

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