Cooperative Education grants invest in programs that develop and enhance understanding of the agricultural cooperative business model through education, professional development and practical experience.

Strong emphasis is placed on projects that teach middle, high school and college students about cooperative principles using innovative concepts and learning methodologies.

More than 20 grants were awarded in early 2018. Check back in late 2018 for a full list of guidelines and funding priorities for the next application cycle. 


2019 CHS Foundation Cooperative Education Grants 

Investing in programs that develop and enhance the understanding of agricultural cooperative business through education, professional development and practical experience. Today’s young adults (Centennials or Gen Z) have grown up in a technological-based society and learn much differently than their parents.  Likewise, education programs must also adapt and change in order to remain relevant to younger audiences.  Again, this year, strong emphasis will be placed on projects that reach the next generation of cooperative leaders through new or innovative concepts or incorporation of technology. 

Funding Priorities

  • Programs with either a national reach or that are focused within the main CHS trade area (Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) 
  • Programs that are strongly connected to the agriculture industry (rural focus alone will not qualify). 
  • College courses that are available to all students will be considered.
  • Fresh and innovative concepts that educate and inform about the value of the agricultural cooperative system and promote the cooperative principles. 
  • Strategies that clearly identify how the target audience will be engaged through communications, learning methodology and interactions
  • Program goals that are clearly stated with a measurable outcome (ex. Goal:  Increase education of next generation leaders about agricultural cooperatives; Outcome: 200 Centennial generation participants will take a pre and post conference survey demonstrating a 75% increase in understanding of the cooperative principles)
  • Projects targeting Centennials (middle school, high school, or college-age students and young producers)
  • Programs where CHS Foundation funding is not the sole or primary support
  • Programs that demonstrate collaboration with other organizations involved in cooperative education
  • Programs with a strong track record of success measured by demand or growth.

Other Funding Criteria

  • Funding must be used to support actual program-related costs.  Indirect costs will not be supported without prior notification and approval.  Please contact us at with your request.
  • Funding will not support: Legislative activities, regularly published newspapers or periodicals, conventions or annual meetings of the organization, office equipment, supplies, space or depreciation, bookkeeping or accounting functions, staffing other than cooperative education, non-educational materials or activities


  • Indirect costs without prior approval. Please contact us at with your request.
  • Projects that do not have an agricultural association or component
  • Multi-year funding 
  • Documentary or book projects 
  • If additional documentation or information is required, the CHS Foundation staff will request such.  No additional documentation outside of the application parameters will be considered unless requested


The 2019 Cooperative Education grant application period is now closed.  Please check back in the fall for information on the 2020 grant cycle. 

Awards Schedule
Decisions will be announced beginning May 1, 2019


Applications now open until February 28, 2019

Apply now

By 2020

10,500 students and future ag leaders benefit from the delivery of relevant and innovative programs advancing the ag-based cooperative model. 

My Local Cooperative

Advancing ag cooperatives by raising awareness of the cooperative business model and highlighting how cooperatives strengthen ag and local communities.

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