Secretary Vilsack Announces that America’s Farm Co-ops Set Records in 2011
WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives posted record sales and income in 2011, surpassing the previous record sales year of 2008 by $10 billion while besting the old income record by $500 million. Dallas Tonsager, under secretary for Rural Development, made the announcement on the Secretary’s behalf, kicking-off National Cooperative Month. Tonsager said co-op employment levels remained strong, with cooperatives employing 184,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal workers, up slightly from 2010.
“These new cooperative sales and income records for 2011 underscore the strength and productivity of the nation’s farmer- and rancher-owned cooperatives, and the vital role they play in the nation’s economy,” said Tonsager. “Primarily because of mergers, the number of farm co-ops continued to decline, but memberships and asset values are up.”
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