Cooperatives

 

contentphoto_cooperativesOverview

Individual farmers cannot consistently and reliably control the price they receive for their agricultural products or the price they pay for the inputs needed to produce those goods. Thus, farmers often form cooperatives so that they can enhance their economic market power. Although there is no universally accepted definition, a cooperative can be defined as a legal business entity created under state law that is owned and operated for the purpose of benefiting those individuals who use its services. A farmer cooperative can serve one or more functions including but not limited to providing loans to farmers, supplying information pertinent to agricultural production, selling inputs necessary to agricultural production, bargaining on behalf of its members, providing transportation services, and marketing agricultural products for its members. Read the full overview.

 

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.



Major Statutes

Capper Volstead Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 291-292

Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-11

Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 12-17

Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 521

Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. §§ 1381-1388

Agricultural Fair Practices Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2301-2306

Cooperative Marketing Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 451-457

Agricultural Marketing Act, 12 U.S.C. §§ 1141-1141j

Agricultural Adjustment Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 601-659

Farm Credit Act, 12 U.S.C. §§ 2001-2279

Discrimination Against Farmers Cooperatives Associations by Boards of Trade, 15 U.S.C. §§ 431-433



Regulations

Internal Revenue Service Regulations, Tax Treatment of Cooperatives, 26 C.F.R. §§ 1.1381-1.1383.1

Internal Revenue Service Regulations, Tax Treatment of Cooperatives, 26 C.F.R. § 1.1385.1

Internal Revenue Service Regulations, Tax Treatment of Cooperatives, 26 C.F.R. § 1.1388

Capper-Volstead Act Regulations, 7 C.F.R. §§ 1.160-1.175

Federal Register Rules Open for Comment



Case Law

Case Law Index for Cooperatives



Center Research Publications

Forms and Filing Information: Business Organizations (Rumley, 2009)

Biofuels: Policy and Business Organization Issues (O’Brien, 2006)

The Farmer’s Legal Guide to Producer Marketing Associations (O’Brien, Hamilton & Luedeman, 2006)

Hedge to Arrive Contracts: Futures or Forwards (Gokhalé, 2005)

Legal and Policy Considerations of Investor-Friendly Cooperatives (O’Brien, 2005)

An Overview of Organizational and Ownership Options Available to Agricultural Enterprises:     Part 1Part 2 (Goforth, 2002)

Introduction to Federal Securities Laws (Goforth, 2002)



Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Cooperatives:

Agribusiness Corporations
Cooperatives
Corporate Farming (Restrictions on Corporate Farming/Family Farm Preservation)
Organizational Forms for Agriculture



Reference Resources

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Antitrust Division Manual
Policy Guidelines Manual to Merger Remedies


Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

IRC section 521 Exempt Farmers’ Cooperatives, 4.44.1.1-4.44.1.8
The Farmer’s Tax Guide, IRS Publication 225
The Agricultural Employer’s Guide, IRS Publication 51
Corporations, Publication 542


USDA Rural Development

Rural Business-Cooperative Service
Library of Publications for Business and Cooperative Programs 
Rural Cooperatives Publications Catalog
Rural Cooperatives Magazine
Rural Development Farm Bill Page
Problems and Issues Facing Rural Cooperatives (Gray and Kraenzle, RMS, 2002)
Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives (Frederick, RBS, 2005 ed.)


Congressional Resources

Reports on Cooperatives (Government Accountability Office)


Other Federal Resources

Export Trading Company Act of 1982


Publications

Agricultural Cooperatives: A Guide to Complying with Missouri Securities LawsCooperatives and Contracting in Agriculture: The Case of West Liberty Foods (IA St. U., 2005)

Cooperatives: Principles and Practices in the 21st Century (Zeuli and Cropp, U. WI Extension, 2004)

Co-ops 101: An Introduction to Cooperatives (1997)

Cooperative Organization and Structure (1998)

New Generation Cooperatives: External Environment and Investor Characteristics (Cobia, 1997)

The Structural Characteristics of Farmer Cooperatives and Their Behavioral Consequences (Staatz, 1987)

Antitrust Status of Farmer Cooperatives: The Story of the Capper-Volstead Act (Frederick, 2002)

How to Start a Cooperative (Rapp & Ely, 1996)

The Capper-Volstead Act: Opportunity Today and Tomorrow in Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Capper-Volstead Act (Barnes & Ondeck, 1997)

Cooperative Financing and Taxation (1995)

Director Liability in Agricultural Cooperatives (Fee, Hoberg, & McCormick, 1984)

The Farmer’s Cooperative Yardstick (Williamson, 1998)

Agricultural Alternatives – Cooperatives (Dunn, Harper, and Kime, 2005)

Understanding Capper-Volstead (Volkin, 1995)

How Agricultural Cooperatives Are Taxed (Cook, Ratchford, Griffith, 1995)

Member Control of Cooperatives: What It Means and How It Is Exercised (Cook, Ratchford, Griffith, 1995)

New Generation Cooperative Membership: How Do Members Differ from Nonmembers (Olson, Kibbe, Goreham, 1998)

Use of LLC-Cooperative Statutes: Status of New Business Formation in Wyoming, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Iowa Organized Through 2005 (Kennedy & Frederick)


Additional Resources

Cooperatives Posts (Ag & Food Law Blog)

Center for Cooperatives (U. WI)

Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives

Database of Cooperative Law (International Labor Organization)

International Co-operative Agricultural Organisation

National Cooperative Business Association

The Arthur Capper Cooperative Center (KS St. U.)

The Cooperative Communicators Association

National Society of Accounts for Cooperatives

Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives (ND St. U.)

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Cooperative Network

Idaho Cooperative Council

Iowa Institute for Cooperatives

Kansas Cooperative Council

Mid-Atlantic Alliance of Cooperatives

Missouri Institute of Cooperatives

Montana Council of Cooperatives

Montana Cooperative Development Center

Nebraska Cooperative Council

North Dakota Coordinating Council for Cooperatives

Northeast Cooperative Council (Cornell U.)

Ohio Cooperative Development Center

Cooperative Development Center for the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

South Dakota Association of Cooperatives

Washington State Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Limited Cooperative Association Act (Nat’l Conference of Comm’rs On Uniform State Laws, U. PA)