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Cooperatives are tied to their local communities in ways that other businesses are not, and they fulfill a variety of different needs. The Iowa Institute for Cooperatives has the expertise to serve a wide range of cooperatives, including:

  • Agricultural cooperatives. In Iowa, farmer-owned cooperatives handle agricultural commodities, furnish farm supplies, and sometimes provide credit and related financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to the co-ops’ farmer members on a patronage basis, helping improve their competitiveness in the marketplace.
  • Credit unions. Iowa boasts more than 140 credit unions with 900,000 members statewide. Credit unions offer a wide range of services at prices that are usually lower than those at for-profit institutions.


  • Utilities. From electricity to telecommunications, cooperatives play a key role in providing affordable, reliable utilities to thousands of Iowans.
  • Healthcare. In recent years, cooperatives have emerged as a key resource to keep healthcare costs and insurance premiums affordable for consumers and small businesses. Health-care cooperatives also help community-owned, non-profit hospitals remain independent; improve the quality of home-based healthcare and assisted living; and allow small, independent pharmacists to compete with larger retailers.
  • Marketing co-ops. Some of the biggest name brands are actually marketing co-ops. They may look like corporate chain stores at first glance, but these businesses are owned and democratically controlled by their members, who operate one or more locations across Iowa.
  • Food co-ops. From small retail stores to large supermarkets, food cooperatives are owned and controlled by their customers. Both the organic and local food trends started with retail food cooperatives.

Want more details on the industries we can serve? Contact us!