Enhancing the Sustainability of Producer-Owned Organizations

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2003: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Grant Recipient: University of Missouri
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: technical assistance, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, partnerships

    Proposal abstract:

    Producers practicing sustainable agriculture increasingly seek to develop new organizations to collectively market their products and capture profits from downstream levels. To increase their long-term profitability, producers introduce innovative mechanisms that create incentives for individuals to invest. Preliminary situational case studies indicate the horizon problem investment constraint should be explored by examining diverging member preferences within the producer-owned organizations. Preliminary analysis of the data collected through producer-member surveys suggest the horizon problem exists but is manifested differently based on the effectiveness of alternative cooperative structures in dealing with the tensions that arise from increasing heterogeneity among memberships.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Short term:
    •Increase knowledge about horizon problem
    •Make management aware of organizational techniques to ameliorate horizon problem

    Intermediate term:
    •Incorporate mechanisms to align member investment with patronage
    •Develop cooperative design with incentives for member investment
    •Possible change in state legislation regarding cooperative policies

    •Increase farmers’ economic well-being
    •Enhance the quality of life for farmers

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.