We can never say thank you enough.
That’s why we celebrated National Farmers Day, Oct. 12, with a gratitude-filled social media campaign. Throughout the day, we invited the public to share and show their love with fun graphics. In 24 hours, our social media channels alone reached more than 130,000 people.
Thanks to everyone who helped us send a big shout-out to our member-owners who form our cooperative system.
We’re continuing to share the love as we celebrate National Co-Op Month.
Land O’Lakes knows how important cooperatives are. Our cooperative system is made up of around 3,000 direct producer members and more than 1,100 retail owners who represent more than 300,000 farmers. In all, this network encompasses 25 percent of America’s farmers, and half of America’s farmland.
We believe co-ops are good for farmers, good for communities and good for our future.
Brad Oelmann, executive vice president, Member Relations and Business Development Services, says there are plenty of good companies out there, doing good work. But there’s something extra special about Land O’Lakes’ cooperative model that is worthy of celebrating.
“I see our employees, retail owners and farmers all being committed to each other, and a larger purpose, in a completely different way than what you see in other forms of ownership,” says Brad. “What I really like about the co-op model is that our owners are also our customers. That gives us a healthy sense of urgency – they have choices and we need to make sure we earn our owners’ business every day.”
We support co-op members in numerous ways, starting with marketing on their behalf and delivering the products and services that improve efficiencies and drive their businesses forward. Beyond that we offer services like member leadership training and development and health insurance options, among many others.
But our members are also quick to give back and support their communities. That’s why we help maximize their already generous contributions to local communities.
The Member Co-op Match program through the Land O’Lakes Foundation matches dollar for dollar our members’ charitable contributions to eligible hometown projects. Members use their match dollars to support local need, whether that's providing housing, fighting hunger or advancing education.
In 2016, these Foundation-supported projects injected more than $12 million in financial and product donations into local communities. For this reason and many others, we feel it’s important to help share the stories of the farmers and rural businesses that make up our cooperative network.
“There are roughly 3.2 million farmers in the United States, which may sound like a lot until you realize that’s less than 2 percent of our population,” says Brad. “Many people do not have the opportunity to get to know farmers and growers first-hand, like we do. National Farmers Day and National Co-op Month gives us the opportunity to thank our farmers and co-op members and invite the world to share in that thanks.”
Working together as a cooperative, we can unlock the greatest potential of food production, from farm to fork, so communities around the world can build a sustainable future. As a cooperative, we know the hard work farmers put in every day. This month, we’re making sure the world knows it.