Some members of the bankrupt Crestland Co-operative are holding meetings to try and plan a new co-op. Creston Area farmer Ron Dunphy says it would be a “new generation” cooperative, different in many ways from the traditional one. Under Iowa law, the new “five-oh-one coop” would be funded differently than old ones were.Capitalization occurs before the new coop opens, whereas old ones generally were funded by retained earnings of their members. Dunphy says the new 501 coop also would enable outside investors to be part of its funding, members who are not also producers.Finally, in addition to committing cash, members will commit to do business with the new co-op, a difference from how the old Crestland coop operated. Dunphy says the planners who came up with the new coop idea will hold public meetings today and tomorrow, joined by ag-industry professionals who have experience in law and accounting.If there’s a better idea how to run a farmer-owned business where the old Crestland co-op was, Dunphy says they hope to hear it. Meetings are today (Thursday) at 1:30 at the Blockton Community Center, seven tonight at the Creston High School Auditorium, and Friday at 1:30 PM at the Elks Club in Shenandoah.
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