Source: USDA

USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager released a report this week showing that farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives had $170 billion in sales in 2009, the second highest level on record, trailing only the $192 billion record set in the previous year. USDA Rural Business and Cooperatives Program Administrator Judith Canales made the announcement on Tonsager's behalf during the National Association of Guaranteed Government Lenders annual conference in Anaheim, Calif.

"Rural cooperatives not only provide thousands of jobs, they invigorate local communities and rural farms, ranches and businesses," said Canales. "This report shows how critically important producer-owned cooperatives are to the nation's agricultural economy."

Original news release