Late February, agricultural business instructor Chuck Lariviere, traveled with two on-campus students and met up with two online students at the National Farmers Union's 2020 College Conference on Cooperatives. This annual conference is sponsored in part by CHS Foundation and CoBank. The event provides students with co-op tours and trainings and builds on National Farmers Union’s long history with cooperatives while hosting students from twenty five states and regions across the United States. 

Students toured co-ops such as Sewards Community Food co-op, REI, Student and Senior Housing co-ops, and much more. They heard from co-op leaders and interacted with students from across the country. 

Most importantly, conferences like this provide an opportunity for online and on-campus students and professors to connect face-to-face while gaining valuable knowledge for their future endeavors. 

Anna Mae, an UMN Crookston online student, mentioned, “It becomes more apparent each day that big changes are needed in the market and in the way we do business. Cooperatives are a very relevant and viable solution that needs to be brought to the table more often. For me personally, this conference impacted the way I will be building my business. The principles of a co-op are a great place to start any business venture.” 

Rosaline Kanssolie, a UMN Crookston on-campus, student loved her experience. She explained how the conference supports agricultural students by building connections.

Events like these, allow students to meet with prospective employers, learn more about their field, and interact with online classmates in a face-to-face manner.

About UMN Crookston

One of five campuses in the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Crookston cultivates curiosity by engaging students in hands-on learning connecting theory to practice. As the experienced leader in delivering education online, the Crookston campus offers a distinctive learning environment providing personal attention and mentorship to develop leaders, lifelong learners, and engaged citizens. Visit Crookston at 

 About UMN

The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota. Learn more at

Story Contact: Shawn Smith - - (218) 281-8414