Published on 01/19/01

Meetings Focus on Potential Oilseed Co-op

A series of meetings in January and early February will help gauge farmers' interest in becoming part of a cooperative that processes and markets oilseed products.

The cooperative focuses especially on products from canola and soybeans. It offers farmers the power to not just grow, but also process and sell those crops for 15 percent to 30 percent more income.

"Farmers in Georgia have to stop thinking about producing oilseeds by the bushel, and think about producing sellable oil by the ounce," said Randy Hudson, coordinator of the Emerging Crops and Technologies Center for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. "This could empower them beyond the farm gate and into the market."

Other topics at the meetings will include:

  • How the new cooperative can provide value-added income.
  • An in-depth look at a recent feasibility study on an oilseed cooperative structure.
  • Comments and advice from farmers in similar cooperatives.
  • The structure and procedures of the closed co-op.
  • Legal issues surrounding a cooperative.
  • Potential support from the state.
The meetings start in Americus Jan. 22 and continue across the state in Vienna, Tifton, Hartwell, Dublin, Midville, Calhoun, Statesboro, Baxley, Quitman, Bainbridge and Perry and end in Leary on Feb. 2.

Contact your county extension agent to learn more about any of these meetings or growing oilseeds.