Youth Cooperative Education Camps Program
– This program has three distinct components. The SDFU Foundation conducts cooperative education at the state, district and county levels. In 2007, the program served 1,825 youngsters throughout each county of South Dakota. Senior camp for grades 7-12 statewide occurs over a five-day period each June, where each participant has hands-on experience in a cooperative newspaper, insurance company, cooperative store or credit union. Four district camps are held for ages 6-13 and are three to four days long. Day camps are held in all 65 counties and focus on ages 6 to 18 years old. More than 130 volunteers support these cooperative education camp activities.
Technical Institute Students’ Co-op Field Days
– Co-op Field Days are available to students in the Cooperative Business classes of post-secondary technical schools in South Dakota. The classes attend a forum featuring representatives of various cooperatives. The students also take field trip visits to successful value-added cooperatives to witness cooperative businesses in action, ask questions and interact with cooperative managers and leaders. In 2008, there will be two separate one-day field excursions that will attract approximately 100 students, ranging between the ages of 18 to 24. In 2009 and beyond, it is the goal of the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation to expand the program to the other universities, thus reaching out to an additional 200 students, or 300 participants overall.
Regional College Conference on Cooperatives
– This annual three-day conference is held in Minneapolis-St. Paul and features presentations from cooperative specialists and panels, interactive workshops, cooperative activities and tours of facilities in the region. The event brings together young college-age producers from Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Iowa, Idaho, Missouri and Wisconsin.