A productive cooperative depends on its member-owners to lead it forward. Indeed, the cooperative model of governance requires democratic member control. Where do cooperatives find these leaders? I believe it is the cooperative system itself that fosters the leadership development by giving them the opportunity to experience unique situations and network with others in their industry.
I recently spent some time at Ruedinger Farms Inc., in Van Dyne, Wisconsin, talking with our Cooperative Resources International (CRI) Board Chairman, John Ruedinger. His first-hand experience echoes the cooperatives build leaders message.
Perhaps you are interested in getting involved with cooperative governance, but worry you don't have the experience or time to be a delegate. Two of our current delegates, Alexa Kayhart and Scott Erthum, took a few moments to share their stories. Read how they balance farm/ranch life with being a delegate and the benefits they are receiving from the process.
Just as cooperative delegates and board members build their leadership skills, employees of cooperatives, and in particular CRI and its subsidiary employees, are given many opportunities to shape their management skills as well. A big portion of this initiative includes our own REACH Leadership Courses. In addition, employees are supported in endeavors to enrich their leadership experiences outside of our cooperative as well. Programs such as Leadership Wisconsin and Leadership Shawano County are two examples where CRI employees have honed their leadership skills. In addition, CRI employees are encouraged to join groups and volunteer in their communities as a part of our company’s value of stewardship.
|Members of the CRI Information and Public Relations team spent time assembling weekend meal packs for children from area schools who are in need.|
|Stan Lock (left) was honored with the Service to the Beef Industry award at the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle workshop.|
CRI prides itself in its people, and we know that the cooperative model of business has allowed us to become the company we are today. From our Board to our delegates and employees, we have the people who are willing to put in the time and effort, because cooperatives build leaders!