- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Agriculture cooperatives posted record profits last year highlighting the business model the U.S. Department of Agriculture says provides more than 2 million jobs.

The USDA says in a report Tuesday net income for the nation’s 29,000 cooperatives rose in 2015 by 14 percent to a record $7 billion.

Cooperatives have been set up by dairy farmers, fruit and vegetable growers and livestock producers among others. They’re often designed to allow farmers to own and control product marketing and share in the profits.

Iowa is first with 15 of the top 100 cooperatives ranked by revenue followed by Minnesota and Nebraska.

The three largest cooperatives are CHS Inc., a Minnesota-based fuel, grain and food cooperative; Missouri-based Dairy Farmers of America and Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes, a dairy foods and farm supply co-op.

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