January 11, 2018 9:53 AM Subscribe
“All in all, Westby is a corner of rural America that’s still modestly prosperous. And while its legacy of locally controlled cooperative businesses isn’t the only reason, it’s a big part of the story. Local farmers are not totally at the mercy of giant agribusinesses when they bring their products to market. Their ownership of the Westby creamery allows them to cut out middlemen and bargain collectively with food processors and retailers to get a fair price. The rest of the town benefits as well from the creamery and the other locally owned co-ops, as money and power that would otherwise flow to the absentee owners and managers of distant corporations instead stay within the community.
But Westby is the exception, not the rule. “ How Rural America Got Milked - Leah Douglas, Washington Monthy