Five co-op support bodies receive grants from USDA rural funds

Awardees include Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Democracy at Work Institute, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives and Montana Cooperative Development Center

Five US co-operative development centres and secondary co-ops will receive funding from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), as part of its Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) and the Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) programmes.

The two co-op grant programmes, which have been running for 15 years, will provide US$8.8m for 2023 to enable projects to thrive. Under the RCDG program, co-op development centres can receive grants of up to $200,000  to improve the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural co-operatives.

Meanwhile, the  SDGG program awards grants of up to $175,000 to co-ops and co-op development centres providing technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas through activities such as conducting feasibility studies, developing business plans, providing leadership and operational improvement training, and facilitating strategic planning. 

This year’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant and Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant awardees include:

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union | RMFU – RCDG recipient ($200,000) 

Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) – SDGG recipient ($175,000) 

North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives – RCDG Recipient ($200,000) 

Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) – RCDG Recipient ($200,000)