June 06, 2016

SIU to host Cooperative Youth Conference

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale this week will host the 2016 Southern Illinois Cooperative Youth Conference, an event for area high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to learn about the cooperative business model. 

The conference is June 9-10, and typically draws 50-75 area high school students. The College of Agricultural Sciences and SIU’s Collegiate FFA chapter coordinate this event with the Illinois Cooperative Council. 

Media Advisory

Members of the media may cover events and interview students or presenters at this conference. For help coordinating interviews or for a complete schedule including field trips, contact Peter Dirks, coordinator of student transition and success, at 618/453-3080 or at pdirks@siu.edu.

Students learn the principles of Illinois cooperative businesses, including history, operating principles and benefits to the community. Guest speakers focus on the “seven cooperative principles and how they apply.” Students will hear from representatives of the Mid America Cooperative Council, Neighborhood Co-op Grocery, Co-Bank, Growmark, Illinois Cooperative Development Center, Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, Farm Credit Illinois and others. 

The conference also includes field trips to area cooperatives. It concludes with presentations by student teams and a “quiz bowl” competition. Most activities take place in the Agriculture Building on campus. 

The conference has been part of the College of Agricultural Sciences for more than 20 years.