A major challenge for cooperatives serving any sector of rural America is the perpetuation of formidable leadership, both governance and managerial. The viability of cooperatives is a mirror image of those they are designed to serve and are deeply affected by the fundamentals of changing demographics, low economic return on investment, changing business structures, and lifestyle desires. To sustain this economic and social environment, cooperatives must apply resources toward maintaining a leadership development system that stimulates ongoing participation and hones the intellectual capacity of the willing.
The life and work of Ralph K. Morris exemplified the visionary, dedicated, practical leadership needed by cooperative enterprise in the future. The Ralph K. Morris Cooperative Leadership Fund has been established by the Ralph K. Morris Foundation to support the development of future cooperative leaders. See The Foundation’s Mission.