Featured Training Programs

Internship Program: The North American Students of Cooperation

The Cooperative Internship Network places talented student cooperators in jobs with cooperatives and cooperative organizations. Each spring, the Network seeks to bring together student applicants with Internship sponsors for summer employment in a wide range of cooperatives and cooperative organizations. Past internships have included: a summer internship with a low-income credit union in Appalachia; an internship with the National Cooperative Business Association; and an internship with the member services department of an optical cooperative in Detroit. Most internships are paid and some include room and board as well. NASCO works with internship sponsors to identify qualified applicants, assists in setting up interviews, and provides assistance throughout the hiring process.

Why Should You Participate

Experiential Learning - Put knowledge into action and complement your academic studies and co-op background with practical work experience.

Skill Development - Develop professional skills that are crucial in todays job market and essential for making a difference in your community.

Career Options - Discover new and interesting career opportunities accessible to you in the cooperative sector.

Network Development - Build a valuable network of mentors, potential future employers and colleagues in cooperative industry.

Awareness and Education - Learn about cooperative values and principles and gain exposure to various types of co-op organizations.

How does the Internship Network work?

Send your application with your resume and three references to the NASCO Internship Network indicating your field of interest. Once the deadline for submission has passed, we will begin forwarding your information to suitable hosts within your areas of interest. The host organizations will then contact you about interviewing and hiring.

What Could You Be Doing?

The job descriptions of the internship are as diverse as the host organizations but here's a sample of what you could be doing:

  • Setting up an accounting system in a small food co-op
  • Developing marketing materials for a retail co-op
  • Designing a newsletter and other publications for a housing co-op
  • Preparing curriculum and acting as facilitator for a youth co-op leadership camp
  • Creating a web page for a co-op umbrella organization


Compensation for internships varies widely. It is determined by the host organization although, at a minimum, we require that adequate compensation be provided to cover the living costs of the intern.

Internship Application Form

The application process is easy. Mail the completed application to NASCO, along with:

  • Cover letter and resume for each internship to which you are applying
  • List of three references with contact information

NASCO will send confirmation that the application has been received and will contact you regarding available internships.

Want us to email or fax you a copy? Email us at or call us at 734.663.0889.







South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation










Youth Education


Camping Program | Cooperative Education | Award Achievement Program
Registration Information



One of the principle objectives of our youth education program is to teach the principles and values of cooperation. Through an organized effort of the State Education Director and many local volunteers, the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation runs a very successful youth program. Each year over 1500 young people participate in activities such as our Summer <!--[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->Camping Program; Cooperative and Leadership Award Tours; Award Achievement Program; Local, County and State Fairs; and State and National Conventions.

Our youth program focuses on preparing future leaders in rural South Dakota who will take pride in their communities and who are dedicated to learning, teaching and living the values of their communities.

Camping Program

All levels of the youth camping program have experienced substantial growth, and we are looking forward to even more participation in the years to come.

District & County Youth Camps

The SDFU Foundation and local chapters of the Farmers Union provide camps for youth of all ages. The camps provide an atmosphere of recreation, adventure and fun while our youth learn about agriculture, cooperatives, leadership and social interaction.

County Camps are open to children ages 6 to 13 and are administered by local and county volunteer directors of education. These camps are usually one day in length and include a number of activities, such as tours, cooperative learning, crafts, singing and much more.

2003 Calendar:

May 28 – Faulk County Camp
May 29 – Charles Mix County Camp
May 31 – Minnehaha County Camp
June 2-5 - District I & II Camp (Viborg, SD)
June 3 – Clark County Camp
June 5- Day County Camp
June 8-13 - State Camp, Camp Placerville (Rapid City, SD)
June 17 - Clay County Camp
June 18 – Haakon & Jackson Counties Camp
June 19 – Brookings County Camp
June 21 - Union County Camp
June 23 – Aurora County Camp
June 24 - Hyde County Camp
June 26 – Day County Camp
June 26 – Gregory County Camp
June 27 – Tripp County Camp
June 28 - Bon Homme County Camp
June 29-July 2 - District III & VII Camp (Aberdeen, SD)
July 10 - Lyman County Camp
July 12 - Lake County Camp
July 13-18 - All States Leadership Camp (Bailey, CO)
July 16-18 - District IV, V & VI Camp
July 16-18 - District IV, V & VI Camp
July 27 - August 1 - All States Leadership Camp (Bailey, CO)
July 22 – Marshall County Camp
August 5 - St. Johns Local Camp (Parkston, SD)
August 7 - Beadle County Camp
August 12 - Moody County Camp
August 14 - McCook County Camp

District Camps are held collaboratively throughout South Dakota. The sites and activities rotate from year to year in order to give equal opportunity to all children across the state. These camps are also open to children ages 6 to 13 and are two to four days in length.

2003 Calendar:

June 2-5 – Districts I & II Camp, Swan Lake
June 29-July 2 – Districts III & VII Camp, Richmond Lake, Aberdeen
July 16-18 – Districts IV,V & VI Camp, Camp Bob Marshall, Custer

State Camp

Each summer, the Foundation provides the opportunity for Senior Youth who have completed <!--[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->the seventh grade through the summer following their senior year of high school to attend the week long State Senior Camp at Camp Placerville in Rapid City, SD. State Camp for 2003 will be held on June 8-13. Registration Information

At camp, youth organize and operate three cooperative businesses. They also learn about other types of cooperatives, participate in leadership workshops, listen to guest speakers and participate in talent night. A tour of the Black Hills, hiking, volleyball, basketball and fun cooperative games complete the camp experience and leave campers with lasting memories and many new friends.

Cooperative Education

The SDFU Foundation is dedicated to cooperative education and development. In addition to the extensive cooperative education integrated into all of our youth camps, we currently administer a number of other programs to teach both young people and adults about cooperative business.

Cooperative Education for the 21st Century

Currently, we visit high schools throughout South Dakota and give presentations on cooperative business to Vo-Ag, Business, Accounting and School to Work classes. We discuss the history of cooperatives, how cooperatives work, new value-added cooperatives and the many benefits of being a patron of cooperatives.

Cooperative Education & Opportunities

We also organize two day-long conferences to give young adults the opportunity to visit with representatives from a number of different types of cooperatives. These conferences give young people the chance to discover opportunities in the cooperative world—for their future careers or for becoming patrons and/or board members of the cooperatives in their communities.

College Conference on Cooperatives

This regional conference gives student participants the opportunity to come together with other young people from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Colorado and experience first hand operation of the many different types of cooperatives. This conference also gives young people the chance to enhance their understanding and awareness of consumer and professional opportunities in their cooperatives.

Award Achievement Program & Scholarships

The South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation believes strongly in keeping young people active and awarding them for their hard work. With this philosophy in mind, our youth have established a Senior Achievement Program with five levels of achievement.

First Year Senior Achievement Award
– Half payment to attend State Camp for the following year.

Second Year Senior Achievement Award
– A three-day educational trip to Pierre, SD to observe the legislative process

Third Year Senior Achievement Award
– A bus trip to Minneapolis, MN, combining both fun and education. The students tour regional cooperative facilities and learn about a number of non-agriculture cooperatives, such as REI (Recreation Equipment Cooperative) and food store cooperatives. While in the Twin Cities, they may also visit Valley Fair, Mall of America, and other points of interest. The trip for 2003 will be held July 20-22.

<!--[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->Fourth Year Senior Achievement Award
– The opportunity to attend the National Farmers Union All-States Leadership Camp in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. All-States Leadership Camp gathers the dedicated “cream of the crop” in youth programs from across the nation, for leadership training, educational growth and development. For 2003, the first session of the Camp will be held July 13-18 in Bailey, CO. The second session will be held July 27-August 1, also in Bailey, CO.

Fifth Year Senior Achievement Award
– The highest honor bestowed upon young people in the Award Achievement Program is that of “Torchbearer.” These individuals are honored at the state convention and are eligible to represent South Dakota at the National Farmers Union Convention the following year.
<!--[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->

Scholarships – In addition to the award program, all Senior Youth whose families are current members of the Farmers Union, and who are either freshmen in a post-secondary school or seniors in high school planning to attend a post-secondary school, are eligible to apply for Foundation Scholarships. Scholarship winners are selected in April of each year, and the scholarship is awarded at the beginning of the next academic year.


“A New Generation” -- State Camp at Camp Placerville – June 8 -13, 2003

• Tuition for State Camp is $130.00 for SDFU members and $170.00 for non-members. We invite everyone to join South Dakota Farmers Union for a $40.00 annual membership fee. [link to SDFU website for family membership fee and application] Membership is required for youth wishing to earn their Senior Achievement Awards.

• The tuition includes food and lodging while at camp, supplemental insurance, a camp t-shirt, crafts and transportation to and from the camp. Many local, county and district Farmers Union organizations assist campers with scholarships to help defray the cost. Check with your local Farmers Union group or cooperative. Campers should also submit $20.00 with their tuition for Tour Day at camp, which includes Evans Plunge and Bowling.

• As mentioned above, transportation via motorcoach is included in the camp tuition. Route scheduling will be sent to you once all registration forms have been received. Every effort is made to set up a schedule that is convenient for everyone.

• Registration forms are available from you local Farmers Union organization, Farmers Union Insurance Agent, local cooperative or call State Office at 1-888-734-8136, ext. 121 or 125.

• Registration forms and emergency medical information forms are due by May 16, 2003!

<!--[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->


Home | Priorities | Education | Innovation | Revitalization | Donate | Contact
Youth Education | Events | News

A §501(c)(3) Non-Profit Charitable Organization
Website by Dahlmeier Designs