Special Meeting

The amendment to our Articles of Incorporation has been approved!

Our in-person Special Meeting on August 24th at the Janye Snyder Trails Center was a success. Our GM, Board of Directors, and staff had an opportunity to engage with owners. Over 30 were in attendance! We are excited to announce the results. With a 15.4% voter turnout, we received 242 YES, 15 NO, and 16 INVALID votes. The amendment to the Articles of Incorporation has been approved by the voters. Thank you for participating!

YES - 242

242 VOTES

NO - 15

15 VOTES

INVALID - 16

16 VOTES

Your voice has been heard.

Thank you for participating!

Frequently Asked Questions

So why are the Articles of Incorporation being revised?

We are adding the provision in order to authorize the issuance of non-voting preferred shares to raise money for projects like expansions, relocations, equipment replacement, etc.

Shares – like stock? People will be able to buy stock in our co-op?

Yes, and they already do – the $25 share you buy to be an owner is one kind of stock we issue. These new ‘preferred’ shares allow us to raise additional money from our co-op owners and pay them dividends (subject to Board of Director approval and authorization) rather than borrow from a bank and pay interest to the bank.

Does that mean someone could buy a lot of shares and take over our co-op?

Absolutely not! Everyone who buys ownership shares gets 1 vote, even if they buy more than 1 share. The ‘preferred’ shares do not come with any voting rights and no influence over the co-op. Our co-op is safe, equitable, and just as much a cooperative as ever.

So why bother to revise the Articles for this?

Our co-op has been growing and we’ve seen a number of changes in our community and the grocery industry, especially during the pandemic. We want our co-op to grow so we can serve more people, expand our offerings, support more local farmers and build a stronger cooperative economy here in Lincoln. It takes money to grow – coolers, freezers, other equipment, staff training, fair wages – these all cost a lot. We could borrow the money needed to grow from a bank, and then we’d be paying them interest. OR you can purchase our ‘preferred’ shares and we can raise the money we need to grow and pay YOU dividends instead of the bank interest. Keep more money local AND provide capital needed for growth – win/win!

Sounds neat! Is this a new thing?

Actually no, it’s an old thing but up until 20 or so years ago it was mostly used by agricultural co-ops. In the last 20 years many food co-ops around the country have added the provision for these types of shares and have used them successfully to finance new stores, expansions, renovations and other projects. Another way to serve our co-op owners while growing the cooperative economy!

Do we have a project coming up? What is it? Tell me, tell me, I want to know!

Our board and management have been working for a while on how our co-op can grow. We are still doing our research and due diligence, and as soon as we’ve got our plan in place and have signed a lease or purchase agreement, we’ll let you know!

What do I do if I have questions or comments?

We’re always happy to answer questions and get your input. You can come in the store and ask any staff person to direct you to someone who can answer your questions, or contact us at 402-475-9069 or harvest@openharvest.coop

Have a Question?

Still have a question after reading through the materials? Submit your question or comment via the form below, and we’ll get back to you.


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