From the Star Tribune
Article by: ERIC WIEFFERING
When Brent Heuth and a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin decided to measure the economic impact of cooperative-owned businesses in the United States, they didn't figure it would be too hard.
After all, co-ops have been around for centuries, and tens of millions of Americans are either members of a co-op or, at one time or another, customers.
HealthPartners is a co-op. The organic milk you buy at the grocery store likely came from Organic Valley, the Wisconsin-based co-op that's on track to do $700 million in sales this year. Depending on where you live, the electricity powering your home or business might be coming from Maple Grove-based Great River Energy, a cooperative that is itself owned by 28 co-ops.
REI, the popular outdoor retailer based in Seattle? Co-op.