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2018: Big-Box Converted to Co-op

Student-Led, Faculty Guided Project - 2018

Authors: Edward C. Lorenz, Alma College


An Alma College student team plans to work with the local community to convert an abandoned 'big-box' retail location (K-Mart) to a year round fresh vegetable and fruit production facility. Launching a cooperative controlled by local consumers and workers will benefit both urban and rural poor in the region.

Author Information

Edward C. Lorenz, Alma College

Edward Lorenz lives in Alma, Michigan, where he has taught at Alma College since 1989 and served as the Director of Alma’s Public Affairs Institute. He retired effective August 31, 2018, as Reid-Knox Professor of History and Political Science. His work with students in the regional community and in academic research has focused on responsible economic development, especially in rural parts of the Americas. His book, Civic Empowerment in an Age of Corporate Greed, published by MSU Press in 2012, won multiple awards for its account of the struggles communities faced to overcome environmental and health consequences of irresponsible waste practices. He has been an elected officer of the Pine River Superfund Task Force in St. Louis, Michigan since 1998. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago where he studied the history of work and working conditions.

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