The material in this booklet draws heavily from and builds on earlier works published by various organizations and government agencies in Canada and the United States. Without the leadership offered in these works, this material could not have been put together. A partial list is as follows:

  • How to Start a Cooperative. Rapp, G. and G. Ely. United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Incorporating a Co-operative. B.C. Ministry of Small Business, Tourism, and Culture.
  • Starting an Agricultural Marketing Cooperative . Center for Co-operatives, University of California.
  • Steps to Starting a Marketing Co-op. Zimbelman, K., E. K. Coontz and A. Malan. Center for Cooperatives, University of California and the Northwest Cooperative Federation.

A complete citation of these works as well as additional references are provided at the end of this booklet.

The publication of this booklet was funded by the Canada/B.C. Farm Business Management Program as part of the project entitled "Agricultural Co-operatives: An Information Package." The project also includes a second booklet on co-operative finance entitled "Financing Agricultural Co-operatives: An Overview" and a web site accessible through the British Columbia Farm Business Management Information Network located at

Material in this booklet was prepared by Andrea Harris, MSc.

Valuable input was provided by Howard Joynt, Project Coordinator and Financial Management Specialist, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food; Marty Frost, Director, FWC Development Co-operative; Leona Theis, editor; and Martin Chicilo, Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development.

The responsibility for the content and all opinions expressed in this document are the author's alone. The report does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the federal and provincial governments which funded the project.

For more information or additional copies please contact:

Andrea Harris
Vancouver, B.C.
Ph: (604) 454-3148
Fax: (604) 454-3147


Howard Joynt
Project Coordinator and Vancouver, B.C.Financial Management Specialist
Ph: (604) 454-3148 BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Vernon
Fax: (604) 454-3147 Ph: (250) 260-3000
E-mail: Fax: (250) 549-5488

About the Canada/B.C. Farm Business Management Program

The Canada/B.C. Farm Business Management Program provides B.C. farmers the opportunity to increase or improve their business management skills. Projects funded under the Canada/B.C. Farm Business Management Program are reviewed by the provincial coordinating committee, which is chaired by a producer and comprised of farmers, agri-business, and federal and provincial representatives. Committee members contribute their knowledge, interest, and ability in farm business management.

Sharon Malmberg, Producer Representative
Larry Campbell, Producer Representative
Barbara Querin, Producer Representative
Laurie Cohen, Producer Representative
Sylvia Mosterman, Producer Representative
Andrea Belsheim, Agricultural Lender
Pamela Byers, Human Resources Canada
Bob Hadley, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Roger Keay, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Dr. Rick Barichello, UBC Department of Agricultural Economics