Federation of Southern Cooperatives
Land Assistance Fund

A cooperative is a group of people who have joined together to control their own destiny. 

 A cooperative is one way people can have a business of their own. Many people do not have enough money to start businesses by themselves. But if they pool their money and ideas with others, they can organize themselves cooperatively into many businesses. 

 A cooperative gives people a way to keep the money they make in their own community. 

 Only when we begin to control our own businesses will we be able to have some control over what happens to our community and country. 

Open Membership
A co-op is open to all persons who have a common need or interest. 

One Person - One Vote
Co-ops are democratically controlled by their members. 

Limited Return on Investment
To ensure that the benefits of the co-op go to those who use it most, 
the co-ops will depend on their members to be owners and customers. 

Benefits Returned According to Use
In a co-op, any margins earned on operations above expenses, 
and a reasonable reserve, are available for return to members based on their patronage of the co-op.
In a co-op, any of the expenses that can be reduced by voluntary efforts of the members reduces the cost 
of the item to all of the members. 

Business for Cash Whenever Practical
Co-ops must raise most of the capital and operating funds from 
members because granting credit is expensive and always risky. 

Constant Expansion
Members will earn increased services from the co-op if it is 
effectively serving its members. 

Constant Education
Since the cooperative form of economic organization is new to most people, especially poor people,
education is constantly needed by the members.

Photo above: Farmers in southwest Georgia pray prior to a Farm Management /Risk Management Workshop in July 1998. The workshop took place at Larry O’Neal’s farm in Thomasville, Georgia. The Federation/LAF’s agriculture staff talked with farmers about the School Lunch Marketing Project, record keeping, risk management, farm management and about “pix stick” on cotton (measuring the growth of cotton).