Keeping farmers farming
About Moontower Community Agricultural Co-op
Moontower Community Agricultural Co-op is a multi-stakeholder Texas cooperative to be made up of farmers and producers, producer groups, food processors, distributors, consumers, and buyers from the Central Texas area. Our co-op members will represent all groups of stakeholders in the food production system at the local level. Moontower supports smaller and urban-area farmers and other producers, with the ultimate goal of creating a new, more robust Central Texas food system. Our specific mission is to organize and maintain a major, regional “food hub” operation and facility that will provide healthy food options and foster environmentally friendly production practices, a strong cooperative economy, and thriving communities. Moontower dedicates itself in particular to addressing farmers’ needs, as supporting farmers and giving them a say in the food production system is at the core of Moontower’s mission. As the old saying goes: “If you ate something today, please thank a farmer!”
҈ Moontower’s Cooperative Members
All members of Moontower will benefit from Moontower’s operations because our support of smaller-scale agriculture and value-added activities benefits the communities in which we will operate. By increasing the quality of food produced locally, keeping farm dollars in the local community, and giving a voice to a larger, more powerful group of folks who can truly direct the future of farming and related activities in their communities, Moontower will lead its members into a new mode of farm marketing.
Farmer/Producer Members: Specifically, our farmer/producer members will benefit from the various bulk-purchasing programs set up for farmers to buy seed, fertilizers, soil amendments, fuel, equipment and other products needed to grow crops or raise animals. Moontower will also provide the aggregation, processing, and distribution infrastructure to increase market opportunities and business capacity. The farmer/producers will benefit on the marketing and selling side by Moontower’s ability to reduce costs for activities like storage, transportation, and distribution and by reducing or eliminating mid-level sales costs.
Consumer Members: Moontower’s consumer members will benefit from their involvement in the Co-op by [someone else]. One goal of Moontower is to promote the most environmentally friendly farming and production techniques [Other goals?] Another goal will be to provide research and direct support, and ultimately materials and equipment for cutting-edge, cost-effective, and energy-efficient farming operations including hydroponics, aquaculture, solar/wind sources for energy, etc.
҈ Why Moontower Is a Cooperative Association
As a “Cooperative Association,” created and governed by Chapter 251 of the Texas Business Organizations Code, all members of Moontower will be owners of the co-op and will therefore have a direct say in the operations and long-term mission of the Co-op.Individuals and businesses will be able to join the Co-op as sustaining members in their respective categories (Farmer/Producer or Consumer). In addition, all members will be offered an opportunity to invest in the Co-op to the extent they are comfortable. All Co-op members will have voting privileges on all major decisions of the Co-op. They are also afforded many other rights as cooperative organization owners, as set out in Chapter 251 of the TBOC. The Board of Directors of the Co-op – directly elected by the members – will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Co-op, along with appropriate staff, facilitating the ongoing connection between the farms and producers, value-added businesses, consumers, and other stakeholders to develop a thriving and sustainable food-service market.