Georgia Distinguished Cooperator Award Recipients


D.W. Brooks

Clarence Edwards

Frank H. McDowell

W.H. Newberry, Sr.

Robert D. Tisinger



Valene Bennett

Rudolph Clark

Cary M. Davis

M.C. Leslie

James Robinson



Curtis A. Beall

Hubert Hancock

Billy D. Mitchell

Ralph D. Mobley

G.V. Yokely



Schley Moore

W.J. Smith, Jr.

Herbert Ingram

Don W. Sands



Cary F. Hays, Jr.

Gray Hinton

Emmet O. Cabaniss, Jr.

James Meriwether



Ralph Paige

Gene Marks

Richard Talton

Charles C. Williams

J.G. McCalmon



Reece Whitehead

Ray Haynes

Holmes Neel

Raymon A. Adams



Ralph Balkcom

Julian Raburn

W.N. Bill Peters



Jean Rice

Lehman Lanier

Henry Owens



Jack Hogan

Marvin McAvoy

William Canup

Carroll Castleberry



Ron Atkinson

Bill Boyce

Eloy Farr

Maxie Love

W.P. Smith, Jr.



John S. Dean

William Higginbotham

Gus Johnson

Jim Loftis

James Roy Malone, Sr.

Alvin White



Willis Berry

Richard Bird

Gaylord Coan

Darrell Holder

John McElmurrary

J.L. Steed, Jr.



Benson Ham

S.J. Saffold, Jr.

Craig Scroggs

Henry S. Verner

Dennis Waldrep



Thomas N. Bagwell

Sanford L. Jones

Earl Merritt

Robert B. Moss



James M. Andrew

Lewis Bryant

Frances Edmunds

Willis Woodruff

Franklin B. Wright



Vincent “Zippy” Duvall

Tom Thompson, Jr.

Everett Williams

Roger Youngblood



Benny W. Denham

John B. Floyd, Jr.

Dan Raines, Jr.

David O. Addis



Hugh B. Cromer

David Dozier

Robert L. Holden, Jr.

Bob Jernigan



Sam Rabun

Paul Wood

Richard Schermerhorn



John C. McKissick

Charles Rucks

Richard G. (Dick) Tisinger, Jr.



Noel Riggins

Raphael A. Brumbeloe



Donald C. Cooper



Jeff S. Pierce, Jr.

Ray E. Meaders



Kenneth Cook



Harrell Landreth

Stan McMikle

Randy Nichols

Richard L. West



Tom Kight

Ann Orowski

Randall Pugh



Hill Bentley

Frank Coker

Gary Drake

Van McCall






Seven Cooperative Principles

Cooperatives around the world operate according to the same set of core principles and values, adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.

1. Open and Voluntary Membership

Membership in a cooperative is open to all persons who can use its services and stand willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic circumstances.

2.  Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Elected representatives (directors/trustees) are elected from among the membership and are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote); cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

3. Members’ Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital remains the common property of the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative; setting up reserves; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy and Independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control as well as their unique identity.

5. Education, Training, and Information

Education and training for members, elected representatives (directors/trustees), CEOs, and employees help them effectively contribute to the development of their cooperatives. Communications about the nature and benefits of cooperatives, particularly with the general public and opinion leaders, helps boost cooperative understanding.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

By working together through local, national, regional, and international structures, cooperatives improve services, bolster local economies, and deal more effectively with social and community needs.

7. Concern for Community

Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies supported by the membership.


Georgia FFA

Sponsorship of the Agricultural Communications Proficiency Award


Proficiency awards are granted to FFA members who have excelled in their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). The Agricultural Communications Proficiency includes programs where students work in agricultural print facilities, such as newspapers and magazines. This proficiency also includes any use of technology (such as websites and blogs). FFA members may also own and produce an agriculture related broadcast or show. Students acquire training and practical experience writing and publicizing in preparation for a career in communications.

The Georgia Cooperative Council’s sponsorship recognizes the region and state winners and includes a travel scholarship for the state winner to attend the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.

Georgia 4-H

Sponsorship of the Environmental Sciences Project


Each year the Georgia Cooperative Council sponsors the Environmental Sciences Project through Georgia 4-H. Project Achievement allows 4-H youth the opportunity to research and explore an area that interests them. In the Environmental Sciences Project 4-H youth can dive into exploring the intersection of ecology, humankind, and the environmental, including conservation of resources, the impact of environmental issues, and environmental impacts. Youth can compete in this project from 4th to 12th grade, competing at the county, district, and state levels. The support given by the Georgia Cooperative Council gives 4-H youth in grades 9th to 12th the opportunity to compete in Atlanta at Georgia 4-H State Congress.

Georgia Junior Livestock Foundation

Sponsorship of the Georgia Junior Livestock Foundation

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The Georgia Junior Livestock Foundation (GJLF) is a statewide organization that recognizes Georgia junior livestock exhibitors for their hard work and dedication to the livestock industry. The Georgia State 4-H and FFA shows were chosen as a forum to aid these young people. Through public support and fundraising projects, the Foundation will be able to provide financial assistances to Georgia’s youth actively involved in the livestock industry through premiums, scholarships and other industry initiatives. The long range goal of the GJLF is to create a scholarship component that may reward all youth livestock participants regardless of their success in the show ring. The Foundation’s goal is to enhance the success of the junior livestock programs in Georgia by providing assistance to the adult leadership of Georgia 4-H and FFA programs.

ABAC Scholarship

The Georgia Cooperative Council makes a $700 donation to the Student Enrichment Program at Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College (ABAC) and offers a $1,000 scholarship to an ABAC student.

Purpose & History

The Council’s ongoing mission is to promote and foster cooperatives and to educate Georgians about cooperatives and the vital role they play in growing and supporting the nation’s economy.

Cooperatives are businesses that are owned and operated by their members. These businesses not only serve the interests of members, but they also dedicate substantial human and financial resources to serve their communities beyond their business functions. Concern for community is a core guiding cooperative principle and the community commitment of cooperatives enhances economic opportunity and improves quality of life in Georgia’s cities and towns.



Officers and Directors

irwin-emc-randy-crenshaw-2010 President – Randy Crenshaw
CEO Middle Georgia/ Irwin EMC
Ocilla, GA
jeff-mcphail Vice President – Jeff McPhail
Cotton Specialist, StapICotn Cooperative
Statesboro, GA
smith-christy-2016 Treasurer – Christy B. Smith
Marketing Director, AgSouth Farm Credit
Statesboro, GA
mark-camp Mark Camp
District Manager Southern States Cooperative
Concord, GA
newheadshotgalecutler-cropped Gale Cutler
Public Relations Coordinator,  Georgia EMC
Tucker, GA
tony-griffin Tony Griffin
General Manager, Rayle EMC
Washington, GA
Karen Hawkins
Dairy Farmers of America
Eatonton, GA
snapping-shoals-brad-thomas Brad Thomas
President/CEO, Snapping Shoals EMC
Covington, GA
al-burns Ex-Officio – Al Burns
USDA Rural Development
craig-scroggs Ex-Officio Emeritus – J. Craig Scroggs
USDA Rural Development,  Retired
cindy-greene Executive Director – Cindy W. Greene

Georgia Cooperative Council Members

Banking/Credit Unions

Dairy Cooperatives:

Marketing and Supply Cooperatives:

Electric Membership Cooperatives



Julian Raburn Cooperative Service Award

The purpose of the Julian Raburn Cooperative Service Award is to recognize Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents (GACAA) members or teams of members for outstanding efforts to create an awareness of cooperatives and the importance of their role in the local and state economies.

The award is named after Julian Raburn. During his professional career, Mr. Raburn was Assistant Professor at Berry College, Assistant County Agent in Twiggs County, County Agent for Telfair County and Business Management Specialist and Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Georgia. In his position as marketing specialist with the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, he was a leader in the development of cooperative leaders and members throughout his career. Raburn was executive secretary of the Georgia Council of Farmer Cooperatives, now the Georgia Co-op Council, and  the associate director of the National Cooperative Development Training Center.

For more information on how to apply, contact the GACAA Extension Programs Chair via the GACAA Web site.

Distinguished Cooperator Award

2016 Recipients (l-r):  Hill Bentley, Gary Drake, Frank Coker and Van McCall

For a list of past recipients click here.

The Georgia Cooperative Council’s Distinguished Cooperator award recognizes and honors men and women for their outstanding achievement and service to the cooperative movement. Awards are presented each year at the Council’s annual meeting.

Criteria for Selecting Georgia Distinguished Cooperators

  1. Nominee must have been outstanding in one or more fields of cooperative endeavor and affecting many people.
  2. Nominee should have already performed their services, mostly in Georgia. However, Georgia natives performing national services of importance to Georgia may be selected.
  3. Nominees may have served as a cooperative member, member of the board of directors of their local cooperative(s), cooperative employee or any person who has contributed to the development of cooperatives in Georgia. Nominees must have performed outstanding service of value to Georgia cooperatives.
  4. Nominees must be living and hopefully able to attend the annual meeting.
  5. Nominations must be accompanied by a list of accomplishments supporting the nomination.
  6. Nominees need not have performed their work for or with the organization making the nomination.
  7. If desired, an organization may nominate more than one person.
  8. Nominations should come from Council members. However, nominations may come from other organizations’, state and federal agricultural agencies and from the selection committee.
  9. The decision of the Selection Committee shall be final.
  10. Periodically, the Council will also select additional outstanding cooperators to be honored.

For an application, click here: Apply

Couples Conference

Date:  August 4-6, 2017

Location:  The Ridges Resort, Hiawassee, Georgia

The multi-state conference is an opportunity to meet new people and create new friendships while learning of the various cooperatives that operate in their everyday lives. Couples in attendance are sponsored by members of the participating state Co-op Councils.

Check our list of members and contact one of your local cooperatives to get more information on how to apply.

To view 2016’s program, click here