Producer risk aversion and participation in agricultural cooperatives

Franken, Jason R.V.; Cook, Michael L.; Pennings, Joost M.E.


Little attention is given to cooperatives’ role in producer risk management. We review literature and theory in development of a hypothesized positive relationship between producers’ risk aversion and usage of cooperatives. We test the hypothesis using a sample of crop and hog producers and find evidence that cooperative membership and the percentage of commodity sold through cooperatives are positively related to producers’ risk aversion. These relationships are relevant for decision makers who determine internal cooperative member policies, debt providers to cooperative members, and lenders to cooperatives, in addition to state and national farm policy regulators, legislators, staffers, and advisors.