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Read the Mix, a bi-monthly publication produced by the co-ops.

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How Does YOUR Co-op Rock?

Grocery poetry, guitar-playing strawberries and bulk aisle dancing are just a taste of the entertainment provided by six winners in the My Co-op Rocks Video + Photo Contest, a nationwide competition challenging co op fans to fire up their cameras and unleash their creativity to share all the reasons their co ops rock.

Hosted by National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), in partnership with National Cooperative Business Association, National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the contest attracted videos and photos from across the country celebrating how co-ops of all types help build a better world.

“We’re continually impressed with the energy and creativity that co-op members, employees and shoppers bring to the My Co-op Rocks Video + Photo Contest,” said Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer for NCGA. “The passion people have for their co-ops is contagious and inspiring.”

Individuals submitted entries Mar. 1 through Apr. 30, with voting continuing through May 30. The public selected winners in “Video” and “Photography” categories.

NCGA awarded prizes to the top three entries in each category. First place winners received a $1,500 co-op gift card or donation to an eligible non-profit, second place winners received a $750 co-op gift card or donation to an eligible non-profit, and third place winners received a $250 co-op gift card or donation to an eligible non-profit.


Miss your chance to enter? NCGA and partners are hosting another My Co-op Rocks contest starting September 1st!


Video Category Winners

First place
The Skagit’s Got the Stuff – An original poem recited in cooperation by employees and shoppers through the aisles of the Skagit Valley Co-op.
Entrants: Mike and Erin Cuseo
Co-op: Skagit Valley Co-op, Mount Vernon, Wash.

Second place
Onion River Rock – A tale of one co-op shopper’s dream-quest for the perfect local strawberry.
Entrant & Co-op: City Market, Onion River Co-op, Burlington, Vt.

Third place
Wild Oats Co-op Rocks – An original song performed by Wild Oats employees in celebration of the
co-op’s 30th anniversary.
Entrant & Co-op: Wild Oats Co-op Market, Williamstown, Mass.


Photography Category Winners

First place
I go bananas for Valley Natural Foods! – A photo of a child nestled in with Valley Natural Food’s stuffed baboon and bunches of bananas.
Entrant: Monique Daley
Co-op: Valley Natural Foods, Burnsville, Minn.

Second place
Cooperative Living Organization – A snapshot of the enthusiastic residents of the Cooperative Living Organization at the University of Florida.
Entrant & Co-op: Cooperative Living Organization, Gainesville, Fla.

Third place
Sweet Potatoes – An artful photograph of Alexis Self, Demo Coordinator at The Common Market, harvesting sweet potatoes.
Entrant & Co-op: The Common Market, Frederick, Md.

For more details and to view all entries, visit

Miss your chance to enter? NCGA and partners are hosting another My Co-op Rocks contest starting September 1st!

About National Cooperative Grocers Association

National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), founded in 1999, is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. NCGA helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. Our 125 member and associate co-ops operate nearly 160 storefronts in 34 states with combined annual sales over $1.4 billion. NCGA is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence in recognition of the application of cooperative values and principles to drive cooperative and business success. For a map of NCGA member and associate co-ops, visit To learn more about co-ops, visit or

About NAHC

The National Association of Housing Cooperatives is a 501©(3) nonprofit national federation of housing cooperatives, mutual housing associations, other resident-owned or controlled housing, professionals, organizations, and individuals interested in promoting the interests of cooperative housing communities. Incorporated in 1960, NAHC is the only national cooperative housing organization. Our mission is to represent, inform, perpetuate, serve, and inspire the nation's housing cooperatives.

About NCBA

Founded in 1916, the National Cooperative Business Association is the national voice for cooperative enterprise in the United States and has a mission to develop, advance and protect cooperative business. NCBA provides a strong, unified voice on Capitol Hill and diligently works with lawmakers to enact legislation that supports the development and growth of cooperatives. NCBA’s comprehensive programs help co-ops strengthen their businesses so they can better serve their members and transform the global economy. NCBA also creates connections across all sectors of the nation’s more than 29,000 cooperative businesses, including agriculture, food distribution and retailing, childcare, credit unions, purchasing, worker-owned, housing, healthcare, energy and telecommunications cooperatives. NCBA’s CLUSA International Program has helped develop cooperatives and other sustainable businesses in over 100 countries since 1953. CLUSA currently implements 23 projects in 10 countries. In the 2012, cooperatives around the world will celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives. Cooperative enterprises build a better world. To learn more about NCBA, please visit To learn more about the US observance of the International Year of Cooperatives, visit


The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives is a national grassroots membership organization of and for worker cooperatives, other democratic workplaces, and the organizations that support the growth and continued development of worker cooperatives. Founded in 2004, the USFWC connects its members to each other and to cooperative support organizations. The organization provides technical assistance and resources to its members and the public, puts on public educational events like conferences and workshops, publishes a quarterly newsletter, maintains libraries and databases of resources both physical and online, and initiates projects to benefit its members and the larger worker cooperative community.

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