New Generation Cooperatives
on the Northern Plains

PDF Document Format

Table of Contents

This site has been made possible through support from:

the Agri-Food Research & Development Initiative (ARDI),


and the University of Manitoba.

The purpose of this site is to explore the development of New Generation Cooperatives on the Northern Great Plains.  In particular, we examine the factors that led to a proliferation of these cooperatives in North Dakota and Minnesota in the 1990s.  Several cooperatives are included as case studies.  We also explore factors that might help New Generation Cooperatives succeed in Manitoba.

Table of Contents:

Executive summary
A New Generation of Cooperatives
Features of New Generation Cooperatives
The Northern United States Great Plains
Agriculture and the North Dakota Economy
Factors Leading to Cooperative Activity
Industrialization of agriculture
The experience of the 1980s
Uncertainty regarding federal farm support
Cooperative spirit
Entrepreneurial attitude
Farm value share of the food dollar
Early models of success
External Support for New Generation Cooperatives
North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC)
North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC)
Vision 2000 and the Growing North Dakota program
Bank of North Dakota
St. Paul Bank for Cooperatives
Commission on the Future of Agriculture (COFA)
Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives
Case Studies
Dakota Growers Pasta Company
Northern Plains Premium Beef
North American Bison Cooperative
United Spring Wheat Processors

Cooperatives in the United States
History of Cooperatives

Lessons for Manitoba: Conclusions and Recommendations

We hope you find this site useful.  The majority of the work contained herein is based on information gathered during 1999.  Efforts have been made to ensure the contents of this site are as accurate as possible.  Any comments, questions or concerns are welcomed.  Please direct them to Brian Oleson by e-mail

or mail to

Brian Oleson
Department of Agribusiness & Agricultural Economics
Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences
364 - 66 Dafoe Rd.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3T 2N2