Document Type


Publication Date


Research Center

Center for Economic Development


This report identifies and describes national trends in the progression of agricultural cooperatives since 1913 with an emphasis on 2000s. As the number of agricultural cooperatives in the U.S. has declined, their size, represented by business volume and the number of members, increased. Based on 1976-2016 data, cooperatives’ total assets and equity have been increasing and were projected to grow in 2017. On average, 2% of cooperatives in the U.S. merged or were acquired . Average incidence rates of mergers and acquisitions during 2000-2012 (33 incidences) were lower than during 1980-1999 (83 incidences). Over time, the number of grain cooperatives increased; and the number of dairy and fruit and vegetables cooperatives declined.