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									                                                                                            9. Youth (K-12)
                                                                                               In terms of groups currently being
Co-op educators see critical                                                                least well-served by cooperative education

need to ramp-up, expand                                                                     efforts, the audiences were ranked as
                                                                                            follows:
education efforts                                                                           1. General public
                                                                                            2. Cooperative members and young
                                                                                            members of cooperatives
By James Wadsworth,                          and researchers, vocational ag teachers        3. Those exploring a new cooperative
Co-op Education and Outreach Program         and cooperative leaders and officers.          4. Youth (post secondary)
USDA Rural Development                       Other participants came from cooperative       5. Youth (K-12)
                                             extension offices, cooperative                 6. Cooperative directors
                  hile many valuable co-op   development centers, cooper-ative              7. Cooperative employees
                  education resources are    councils, national cooperative                 8. Cooperative management
                  available today from       associations, state governments and               Interestingly, cooperative directors
                  USDA Rural                 USDA Rural Development state offices.          were ranked second among groups
                  Development and others,                                                   needing co-op education the most, but
many publications and other co-op            Audiences ranked on need                       educators seemed to think this type of
educational materials are in serious need       The educators ranked primary target         education is being carried out to a good
of updating. New communications              audiences based on need for co-op              degree at the present time, since directors
technologies should be better employed       education. A large majority (about 75          are sixth on the list for being least well-
and outreach and distribution efforts must   percent) of them ranked people                 served. Those exploring a cooperative
be geared up if the co-op business model     considering the formation of a                 were third on the least well-served list,
is to be more widely adopted.                cooperative at the top of the list, followed   but were identified as the highest priority.
    This was the general consensus of a      closely by board members of existing
group of 91 people USDA recently             cooperatives. Nine audiences were              Most crucial co-op topics
engaged in discussions about the state of    ranked, as follows:                               The co-op educators see a wide variety
its co-op education efforts, and co-op       1. People considering forming a                of topics that need to be addressed to
education in general in America. Tailoring      cooperative                                 improve cooperative “literacy.” Topping
co-op education efforts to meet the          2. Cooperative directors                       their list is finan
								
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