The CEP was formed in 1982 at the request of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets at a time when agricultural cooperatives and NYS farm business owners were especially challenged by an economic downturn. Program staff conducted applied research and provided programs to improve the skill set of boards of directors and management teams. Other program efforts inspired young and emerging persons to pursue leadership positions in cooperatives. We partner with the Northeast Cooperative Council to provide professional development opportunities to improve decision making and softs skills of present and future leaders of agricultural and Farm Credit Associations headquartered or doing business throughout the northeastern United States. The CEP is committed to developing and providing educational experiences that enhance the skillsets of present and aspiring cooperative leaders. Mutual respect of diverse opinions and trust by program participants is critical for the success of our programs. Applied research initiatives are informed by problems and challenges confronting NYS cooperatives and communities. The CEP works in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension educators to support their efforts to enhance local economic development and with academics in peer institutions with interests in the cooperative enterprise throughout the United States and the world. We view the cooperative-structured enterprises as a mechanism to improve the economic and social well-being of member-owners.

Land Acknowledgement

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ(the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁdispossession and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ people, past and present, to these lands and waters.

Continental Impact

The Morrill Act land-grant process, in which the federal government deeded Indian lands stolen by force and fraud in the course of a national genocide to 52 land-grant universities, Cornell University became economically and morally tied to Indigenous Nations whose traditional territories were located in what are now the U.S. states of California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. The university also possesses land throughout New York state (experimental farms, research stations and the like) and retains mineral rights in the U.S. Midwest and Southwest. Further, some of the over 240 Nations that originally lived in these areas were forced into new locations through the agenda of settler colonialism, including forced migrations into what is now Canada.