Cooperative Development Resources & Case Studies

Are you thinking a cooperative model might be right for your business? Have questions about how cooperatives function? Curious about cooperatives we work with?


Case Studies and Articles

Western Montana Growers Cooperative Case Study

WMGC Study Cover Page

In the fall of 2012, University of Montana graduate students with Dr. Neva Hassanein completed a community-based action research study of the WMGC. This case study is the result of a semester-long endeavor, completed in partnership with the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center and the Western Montana Growers Cooperative. The case study examines staff, producer-member, and buyer perspectives about the Co-op and its role in the regional food system.

The complete report is available as a PDF here: Local is Delicious - Case Study of the WMGC (pdf)

For additional information about the case study, please contact: 406-676-0676 or

For additional information about the University of Montana, community-based action research, and the academic process of research with students, contact: Dr. Neva Hassanein at


A partner report that highlights the perspectives of WMGC member-growers with lower sales is also available. The complete report is available as a PDF here: WMGC Partner Report (pdf)


Check out the following links to learn more about the cooperative approach!

The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives is one of the best places to go to learn about everything co-op.

USDA Rural Development offers a large section about agricultural, utility, and marketing cooperatives.


The National Cooperative Business Association brings together people from all co-op sectors.




Here are a few articles answering common co-op questions, including where the capital for start-up comes from and how democratic control works:

Steps and Decisions for Starting a Co-op (pdf)

Considering Cooperation: A Guide to Starting a Co-op (pdf)

Financing a Cooperative (pdf)

Cooperative Equity and Ownership (pdf)

Co-op Member Loans (pdf)


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