Ruth's service on the Agricultural Council of California led to his commitment to the cooperative business model. He helped found the California Center for Cooperative Development twice and the California Association of Cooperatives. He has always used and continues to use his service on various boards to promote the cooperative way of business. As Co-chair of the national Rural Cooperative Development Task Force, he was instrumental in creating the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program, a USDA source of funding for rural cooperative development that now supports the work of 29 cooperative development centers across the country. Demonstrating commitment, innovation, and leadership, he has mentored cooperative developers, started cooperatives, developed resources for cooperatives, and won favorable legislation for cooperatives in California.