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Telling the Cooperative Story Through Activities

October 24, 2016

This post is part of a monthly series for national Co-op Month. Check back weekly for more. 

October is national Co-op Month, a time to celebrate the cooperative way of life and how these unique businesses impact the communities we live in. To help you promote Co-op Month to the communities you serve, and raise awareness of the importance of cooperatives, we’ll be posting weekly resources you can use. 

This week, we’re focusing on activity ideas. Here are a few ideas from

  • 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, or call (202) 720-6483.

There are also some cool coloring books from the Cooperative Network. Check them out here.