State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > California > Edc > 92690-92698

SECTION 92690-92698

92690.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
   (a) That California consumers enjoy the economic benefits of a
substantial cooperative business sector. An estimated one million
people participate in a diversity of consumer cooperatives that
includes, but is not limited to, housing, child care, food, insurance
and health care, student, rural electric, senior citizen, cable, and
funeral cooperatives, as well as employee-owned arts and crafts
cooperatives and other small business cooperatives. Credit unions, as
financial cooperatives, provide services to over 6.2 million
   In addition, over 40,000 California farmers belong to agricultural
cooperatives which produce and market over six billion dollars
($6,000,000,000) of food and fiber products annually.
   (b) That land grant universities of this nation, including the
University of California, have a long tradition of providing
research, educational, and extension programs of direct interest to
   (c) That public understanding of the nature and role of
cooperatives is minimal. In general, the public does not understand
how the cooperative form of business structure is being utilized for
their benefit.
   (d) That public understanding about the benefits of the
cooperative form of business could be greatly improved through a
coordinated effort by the University of California and other
institutions of higher education to focus on the role of cooperatives
in the California economy.
   (e) That in the fast changing world economic environment it is
important to California that its cooperatives remain a dynamic sector
within the state's economy. In order to enhance this sector's
development the state is asked to support the establishment of a
Center for Cooperatives.
   (f) That the establishment of a Center for Cooperatives would help
to meet the growing need for information, knowledge, and the
professional skills necessary to increase the competitiveness of
California's cooperatives in the state, national, and world trade and

92691.  In order to facilitate the development of cooperatives in
the business and education sectors, the University of California is
requested to establish a Center for Cooperatives. The university is
further requested to give careful consideration to locating the
center at the University of California, Davis, due to the
demonstrated leadership role of that campus in providing research,
education, and extension services to cooperatives. It is the intent
of the Legislature that the center be interdisciplinary in nature and
be administered by the university through the appointment of a

92692.  It is the intent of the Legislature that the center be
operated by the University of California to do the following:
   (a) Assist cooperatives in the state through the provision of the
   (1) Board management and staff training.
   (2) Technical assistance regarding startups, ongoing operations,
membership development, and new initiatives.
   (3) Advice regarding capitalization, marketing, merchandising,
business, economic development, and financial management strategies.
   (b) Serve as a catalyst between the Land Grant University, other
higher education programs, and cooperative leaders in the development
and support of education, research, and public outreach programs of
direct benefit and interest to cooperatives and their members.
   (c) Provide access to market development and changes through
industry focused knowledge to the boards, officers, committees,
management, and staffs of cooperatives.
   (d) Strengthen the capacity of California's cooperatives to
compete effectively and therefore, create employment opportunities
for both the rural and urban population in California.

92693.  It is the intent of the Legislature that the center support
research, education, and extension activities that advance the body
of knowledge concerning cooperatives in general and address the needs
of California's agricultural and nonagricultural cooperatives such
   (a) Support for teaching programs at the graduate and
undergraduate levels.
   (b) Support for research addressing economic, marketing, social,
technology development, and other issues relating to cooperatives.
   (c) Dissemination of information on existing programs, services,
and publications available to cooperatives through federal, state,
university, and public sector sources.
   (d) Development and dissemination of education materials relating
to cooperatives.
   (e) Coordination of meetings, conferences, seminars, and related
education programs for cooperative leaders, boards of directors,
managers, members of cooperatives, and others.
   (f) Encouragement of greater interest in cooperatives by the
academic community through student involvement, internships, support
of visiting scholars, and other means.
   (g) Support strengthening the economic role of cooperatives in
state, national, and international trade.

92694.  (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that the President
of the University of California, or his or her designee, appoint an
advisory board to the center.
   (b) It is further the intent of the Legislature that:
   (1) The advisory board be composed of a majority of individuals
who are members of agricultural or nonagricultural cooperatives, with
the two sectors being equally represented, as well as, composed of
individuals representing institutions of higher education,
government, and the general public who are knowledgeable about
   (2) The duties of the advisory board include recommending goals,
objectives, and priorities for the center and reviewing center
   (3) To the extent practicable, the advisory board recommend, and
the center strive to undertake, a balanced program of activities that
are directly beneficial to agricultural and nonagricultural
cooperatives, and representative of the diversity of both cooperative
   (4) The advisory board consider the relative economic impact of
cooperatives in California and the service to the public in making
its recommendations.
   (5) The members of the advisory board serve without compensation,
but shall be reimbursed for all necessary expenses incurred in the
performance of their duties in accordance with applicable regulations
and guidelines of the University of California.

92695.  It is the intent of the Legislature, and subject to the
availability of funds, that qualified institutions of higher
education, organizations, and individuals, as determined by the
president, or his or her designee, in consultation with the advisory
board, be eligible to participate in a competitive grant program to
assist in carrying out Sections 92692 and 92693.

92696.  It is further the intent of the Legislature that the Center
for Cooperatives be funded by a variety of sources which may include,
but not be limited to, the following:
   (1) Funds derived from special fund accounts.
   (2) Public and private funds secured through cooperative research
agreements from entities such as the Agricultural Cooperative Service
of the United States Department of Agriculture.
   (3) Funds currently available to the university which are directed
in the interest of cooperatives.
   (4) Legislative appropriations to enhance the awareness and
involvement of various minorities in cooperative business
   (5) Income from courses, seminars, publications, and contractual
   (6) Contributions from cooperatives and other associated business
   (7) Grants and endowments received from private foundations,
government agencies, and other public or private sources.

92698.  No provision of this chapter shall apply to the University
of California unless the Regents of the University of California, by
resolution, makes that provision applicable.