The IIC Story

About 180 Cooperatives of all Types Are Members of IIC...

Why is This So?
Why do they invest their time and membership dues?
What do members get?

Legislative Action
Education & Training
Business Development Assistance
Family Support
Network Power....
By networking-with other cooperative professionals, our members can talk about everyday problems with people who view them from a different perspective.
Our members are part of the big picture, progressive, successful and right-up-to speed companies...
and we don't take any taxpayer support to operate our organizations.

Hybrid Power: Cross-Fertilization of Ideas...
Local grain marketing and/or farm supply cooperatives make up about 65% of the membership. Rural electric, rural telephone, dairy, farm credit, petroleum, credit union, consumer, plus various regional co-ops comprise the remainder of the membership.

Featured Services...
Legislative Action and Protection:
--Network of legislative contacts
--Lobbyists working to monitor legislative and regulatory activities to protect cooperative interests
--Initiation of legal and regulatory changes to allow cooperatives to operate better

Education & Training:
--Training and Information Programs for directors and staff of cooperatives
--Local Co-op Member and other customized Education Programs
--Iowa Institute Annual Meeting--a "think tank" program for managers and directors
--Special programs on current issues and problems

Business Development Assistance:
--Assistance for board retreats, long-range planning, merger, consolidation, acquisitions, or corporate restructuring
--Cooperative development services including initial start-up of new companies, feasibility studies, project coordination, and results analysis.
--Access to specialized consultants in cooperative law, accounting, etc.

Family Support:
--Because cooperatives are businesses controlled by their customers on a democratic basis, they have opportunities and problems that are unique to them. Under the umbrella of the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives, they can share experience, get answers and receive support.

--Co-op-A-Gram, the IIC newsletter mailed 8 times annually to member co-ops and their directors
--Weekly "Legislative Update" tracking the progress of important bills through the process.
--Special bulletins prepared to update member-company managers on critical issues.

--Explanation of laws and regulations
--Sources for further information
--Legal service program available to members

A Little Background
The Iowa Institute for Cooperatives located in Ames, IA is the trade organization for cooperatives in Iowa. It was started by local Iowa cooperatives in the early 1950's to provide educational programs on cooperatives, to promote the cooperative form of business and to provide assistance with legislative and regulatory matters. Financial and management consulting and cooperative development services were added in 1987.

 IIC has a staff consisting of four employees, including the executive director, director of member relations, co-op education  consultant and office manager.  It has an annual operating budget of approximately $550,000. Members provide about half of the operating budget through annual dues. Additional revenues come from charges for educational and service-related programs and grants from various sources.

We Don't Wait For Trouble to Start...
All of the Iowa Institute's programs and activities are designed to address current problems, to help position Iowa's cooperatives for the future and to help them achieve economic gains for their members. The Institute encourages and assists the development of new cooperatives to promote rural economic development throughout Iowa and also works cooperatively with other state cooperative councils throughout the Midwest.

Looking Ahead to 2020
The future environment will be significantly different from that of today. The efforts of the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives will continue to focus on developing programs, providing services and guiding legislative actions which will build upon and strengthen our cooperative system.
     Recognizing that a cooperative's future survival will depend on its ability to predict, imagine and initiate change, the Iowa Institute will continue to help members evaluate opportunities and trends, recognize threats, and provide information to promote efficiencies in operation. In this way the Iowa Institute will help cooperatives better prepare for the dynamic changes that will take place in the future among their membership and in the marketplace.
     The Iowa Institute will also continue to promote new cooperative development and value-added production, both traditional and non-traditional, while remaining faithful to environmental and social responsibilities.
     Finally, the Iowa Institute will continually seek to educate co-op management, staff and members. Cooperatives who expect to survive and prosper in the next 5 or 10 years must provide co-op education to help individuals understand how the cooperative structure works and how this structure can benefit them. A cooperative will only be as strong as its informed membership.
     David Holm, Executive Director of the Iowa Institute reiterated the value of the cooperative structure in the following statement: "Cooperation by whatever means and by whatever name you call it -- networks or co-ops -- is what built our system of family farms in the Midwest, and is probably the best strategy for preserving it to the greatest degree possible as we meet business challenges.
     But if we are to act as a community, there is no more "them" to talk about. Only "us"!"

A Big Drum Roll Please...

Iowa Institute Staff

David Holm
     Executive Director
Gary Alberts
     Cooperative Education Consultant
Drue Sander
Director of Member Relations 
Barb Cline

     Office Manager
     Coordinator, Iowa Cooperative Foundation
Ron Orth
Dairy Consultant

Iowa Institute Board of Directors

John Priest, President, farmer from Diagonal
Edwin Klyn, Vice-president, farmer from Bussey
Mark Nelson, Secretary-Treasurer, farmer from Clermont

District Directors:
(In addition to officers list above)

Doyle Anderson
Richard Bishop
Jack Runge
Larry Schuttler
Steve Seidl
Reuben Skow
Gerald Thatcher


Warren Fisk
Jack Friedman
Larry Lamb
David Leiting
Patrick Neppl
Jim Penney
Rolland Svoboda
G.  Zomermaand
Regional Co-op Directors:
Tom Francis, CoBank
Bob Jacobus, CENEX / Land O'Lakes
Mike Tatman, Farmland Insurance

Membership Segment Directors:
Larry Nuss, Credit Unions
G. Marvin Lindemann, Rural Electric Cooperatives
Ron Reil, Telephone Cooperatives

Facts Of Interest
  • Local control and local ownership make co-ops a special kind of business unique because of their commitment not only to the people they serve but also to their communities.
  • The co-op family includes businesses, big and small-- including credit and financing, electric and telephone service, insurance, housing, day care, health care, food, farm marketing and supply, florists, and much more.
  • There are over 179 Credit Unions in Iowa that have more than 850,000 members
  • Iowa's rural electric cooperatives serve more than 190,000 farms, homes, and businesses in all 99 counties of Iowa.
  • Two in every 5 people in the U.S. belong to a cooperative. That is 40% of the U.S. population.
  • Iowa cooperatives originate about 75% of the grain that goes through country elevators in Iowa.

[Updated 1/04]

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Iowa Institute For Cooperatives, 2515 Elwood Drive, Suite 104, Ames, IA 50010-8263
515-292-2667 • FAX 515-292-1672 • e-mail: