Education Programs

Cooperative education is something that requires our attention, and our commitment on a regular basis, not just once or every now and then.  It is a long-accepted maxim among cooperators that without cooperative education the average life span of a cooperative is about a generation and a half.

As today’s business climate increases in complexity, the challenges facing cooperative directors and employees become even greater. Decisions are far more difficult and more costly. Continuing education plays an increasingly important role in assuring that the cooperative operates effectively in serving members’ needs now and in the future.

For 2024/25, we will hold a combination of in-person and virtual programs.  Our all-inclusive 2024/25 education booklet will be linked here in October and will contain more information about all of the programs below:


  • Director/Manager Workshop – The Director/Manager Workshop was created to address issues of timely relevance to cooperatives. Directors and managers are encouraged to attend the workshop together; thus, allowing each to bring a valuable perspective to the workshop discussion and work together in applying alternatives to meet their business needs. Regional cooperative co-sponsors annually participate in the meeting to identify the theme and topics to be covered in the workshop.  Our 2024 Director/Manager Workshop will be held on November 21, 2024 in Kearney.  DMW registration form (will be linked here in October)
  • Director Certification Program – The Director Certification Program (DCP) provides participants with information for improving skills used in fulfilling their roles as cooperative directors. The four phases (each a day-long program) cover cooperative principles and practices; roles and responsibilities of directors; directors’ legal obligations; long-range strategic planning; understanding and using financial statements; and management evaluation and compensation.  DCP is conducted annually in January.  Phases 3 and 4 will be conducted on January 7-8, 2025 respectively in Kearney.  DCP registration form (will be linked here in October)
  • Graduate Director Seminar – The Graduate Director Seminar is designed for directors that have completed DCP and have served on their local cooperative board for several years.  It is a one and half day program and will be held on January 7-8, 2025 in Kearney.  GDS registration form (will be linked here in October)
  • Board Leadership Seminar – Our Board Leadership Seminar provides specific information on the responsibilities of board officers in helping the cooperative function effectively.  Discussion focuses on those responsibilities provided by the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws as well as those which are required by common practice. Legal obligations of directors in maintaining confidentiality of records/decisions is also reviewed.  An overview of leadership requirements on the part of the board officers in dealing with others and in making decisions are also examined. Methods to achieve the required level of support from the membership and with community leaders are considered.  The seminar is conducted in an open forum discussion that has always been highly rated by participants.  It will be held on March 3, 2025 in Omaha.  BLS registration form (will be linked here in October)


  • Leadership Luncheon Series – This year’s LLS will be several one-hour virtual sessions in December 2024 – check back for updates on the topics and dates.  Registration will include all sessions.  LLS registration form (will be linked here in October)
  • Multi-State Council Webinar (offered by the state councils of IA, KS, NE, OK and SD) – Plans are underway – check back for the final date and registration form.


Should you have any questions, please contact the Council office.