The Roundup -

Co-Op Day Expresses Appreciation To Community


For many people, Thursday's Co-Op Day at the Fair entails a momentary stop at the sponsor tent for a complimentary root beer float- and an equally hasty return to other Fair-afternoon happenings. However, this day has more behind it than simply a free cooldown for fairgoers.

The event was set in motion in 2000 by Kelly Knaff of the Lower Yellowstone Rural Electric Association, one of the seven original co-ops which contributed to the day. Other members include Richland Federal Credit Union, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Mid-Rivers Communications, Nortana Grain, Horizon Resources and CHS Farmer's Elevator.

While these businesses offer different services, they all share a common connection to the community through their cooperative structure. The standard framework of a co-op includes open membership for all who use its services, democratic member participation through elected member representatives and corporate economic decisions, self-governing organization status, member/employee education, and community-not just co-op member-development emphasis.

Fairgoers line up for free root beer floats at the 2016 Richland County Fair Co-op Day. New this year are push ups from noon to 4 followed by the popular root beer floats.

Each of our local co-ops is highly involved in community support through areas such as health programs, educational scholarships, and valuable neighborhood organizations. Therefore, Co-op Day may seem like just another public service these businesses are willing to sponsor. There is a live radio broadcast from the sponsor tent, and information pamphlets concerning co-ops are available. In addition to being informative, this unique annual assemblage of 8 cooperative associations was designed specifically to show appreciation to constituents of the community cooperatives.

Both the sponsorship contribution to a large public gathering like the Fair and the provision of a fun treat for visitors are a part of showing their gratitude to the community. Pay an appreciative visit to your local co-op representatives under the sponsor tent across from the Fair Office anytime on Thursday, and enjoy a push up from noon to 4 or a root beer float beginning at 4 p.m.!


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