Education & Leadership Conference

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Early Bird Registration: $375 p/p or $500 per couple
Regular Registration: $475 p/p or $600 per couple

August 4-6 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota

Hyatt Sarasota

For the past 33 years, the Florida Council of Cooperatives has sponsored an Annual Cooperative Education and Leadership Conference. Formerly known as the Young Farmer Couples Conference on Cooperatives, it is a long weekend of intensive training, discussions and panels. The program is designed to help individuals understand better how cooperatives can serve them, and how they can become a part of their local cooperatives.

The conference is divided into two tracks, one for the “beginners or first timers” and one for the “advanced or repeat attendees”. While in session, attendees in the beginning track learn the importance of cooperatives, how they function and have an opportunity to hear from panels regarding the different types of cooperatives. The advanced attendees go through a more in depth training on the organizational procedures and responsibilities of co-ops and their boards. This conference climaxes when attendees are separated into groups and preform a case study of a particular cooperative.

An outstanding conference participant is selected each year, based on their participation in the conference and their leadership potential. They are then invited to return for a second weekend the following year to continue their training and share their previous experiences with attendees.

During the conference, the Council awards individuals and organizations for their continued hard work. One individual is recognized for outstanding cooperative leadership and contributions that he or she has made to cooperatives through the years. Over the past thirty-three years, over forty people have received this recognition. Winners have included founders of Florida cooperatives, a commissioner of agriculture, charter members of FCC, professors and bank presidents. A second recognition each year is for the “Super-Cooperative of the Year.” This is an opportunity to recognize the cooperative that has made outstanding contributions to the overall well-being of the cooperative way of doing business in Florida. Plaques are presented to the recipients of these awards each year at a banquet.

The state’s cooperative community is very proud of the many people whose lives have been touched by FCC programs and who now hold places of leadership in state government, cooperative and farm organizations.