About OPINS Co-op

Board of Directors

Please click on the members photopraph for a full sized view.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to expand our organic grower's market opportunities and provide the best possible profit margins, by educating our growers on the best seed traits to plant, so their crops will have the desired attributes the buyers are seeking.

Sunset with a barbed wire fence and some tall grass

To serve the growers, by expanding the organic industry through education and good marketing practices, and to insure our growers the best price at the time of sale and prompt reliable payment for their goods.

Background

The OPINS Co-op is a marketing/bargaining cooperative for organic grain and livestock producers with a focus on serving in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota and in bordering states. The Co-op goal is to help build markets for organic grain and livestock and to represent its members in negotiating sales and coordinating deliveries of organic products.

OPINS was developed from a desire of producers to have a focus to market grains, as an education and research of grains performance for organic farmers to promote organic agriculture networking.  An aggressive marketing program for both feed and food grains is in place to serve the producers bottom lines of profitability in volatile markets and calm times. OPINS Co-op is organized as a marketing cooperative to help build markets, primarily for organic grains.

The Role of the OPINS Co-op

This desire of organic producers was the need to develop a dependable source of income for the new co-op that was under member’s control. The costs of transition from volunteer staff to paid staff, and increasing phone, postage and other operating expenses are met through marketing fees of those who use this service. The fees increase its marketing efforts and sales at an early stage in its development, and establish a foundation for ongoing marketing activity and organizational development.

The producer’s assistance to OPINS start-up as a marketing cooperative was the key to success. The process of developing and implementing a business plan helped OPINS establish organizational and accountability structures to resolve conflicts and continue to build the cooperative, both organizationally and as a business.

Success

OPINS’s major accomplishments are the establishment of an effective, low cost cooperative marketing program along with the development of substantial markets for producer member’s major grain products - soybeans, wheat, and corn. OPINS Co-op developed and established a marketing program by looking at what models were available, affordable and could most practically meet the needs of the members. Producer members created a marketing program through a process of meetings, discussions, debates, and testing the program in practice.  OPINS has establish stronger organic markets for the major grain products of its producer members by hiring grain marketing coordinators who are working in the organic markets every day, talking with member producers and organic buyers, learning what the needs and trends are in the market, and discovering how OPINS can most effectively participate. They are committed to asking the right questions, acting in transparent ways that were relevant, practical and financially low risk, and committing the time and money for the necessary work.

There are two critical areas that serve to make OPINS members effective in working as a group. The first key area is that members need to continue to work together to realize the cooperative benefits.  The cooperative benefits the members; and Producer members need each other. The second key area is to keep focused on the real issues at hand. OPINS members can readily work together in solving actual problems. It is also critical that members have ample opportunity to give input into the decision making and development process, and that they are treated fairly in the ongoing marketing activities.