Lee proclaims October Cooperative Month

Pictured, front row, l. to r.: Dan Beasley, USDA Rural Development; Todd Blocker, Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association; Governor Bill Lee; Scott Lewis, Farm Credit Mid-America; Rob Holland, University of Tennessee; Matt Boynton, Bledsoe Telephone Cooperative Back row, l. to r.: Keith Harrison, Tennessee Department of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner for Business Development; Jimmy Ogilvie, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative; Roberta Smith, Tennessee Council of Cooperatives; and Melissa Bryant, Tennessee Farm Bureau

NASHVILLE — October is Cooperative Month in Tennessee, celebrating the approximately 200 member-owned organizations that employ more than 6,000 individuals, impacts our state’s economy by more than $1.2 billion and provides a wide array of products and services to member-owners.

“With the impact that Tennessee cooperatives have, we’re proud to see Governor Lee recognize them by proclaiming October as Cooperative Month,” said Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. “Cooperatives have supported our agricultural industry for years. The economic benefits, insurance and financing opportunities, and increased access to broadband have been crucial for our rural Tennesseans.”

Today, more than 75% of Tennessee’s rural residents are served by a cooperative. Unlike other businesses, a co-op is owned by those it serves and exists to meet the needs of its members as economically as possible. 

Tennessee cooperatives impact the well-being of rural residents and communities across our state by providing electric, internet, and telephone services. They also make significant investments in bringing broadband to the state’s unserved areas.

Cooperatives provide financing for land, assets and inputs as well as products and services, such as genetics, seed, crop nutrients, feed, crop protection and animal health. Additionally, cooperatives are a dependable source for equipment and fuel used to grow and market crops and livestock as well as insurance for individuals and family businesses. 

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote responsible use of our agricultural and forest resources, develop economic opportunities, and ensure safe and dependable food and fiber for the citizens of Tennessee. More information about Tennessee cooperatives can be found at tennesseecouncilofcoops.com

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