University of Wisconsin Center for Wisconsin
Rural Cooperatives, November/December
1997, pp. 33
Published by the Rural Business and Cooperative Development Service
USDA Funds 11 Co-op Development Centers
Eight existing and three new centers for cooperative
development have been funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through
the rural Cooperative Development Grant program. Funding for 11 projects
totals $1.7 million.
The program, administered by USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative
Service, provides funding for nonprofit cooperatives and institutes of
higher learning to operate centers for cooperative development. These centers
also provide technical assistance and other resources intended to support
the cooperative form of business in rural area. Some of the centers also
receive support from the National Cooperative Business Association.
Fund recipients are:
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Epes, Ala., which will organize
produce marketing cooperatives, conduct comprehensive training programs
for cooperative and credit union members and employees and assess the feasibility
of value-added processing cooperatives for low-income, minority farmers
in the southeastern United States.
Alaska Village Initiatives, Anchorage, Alaska, which will establish and
operate the Alaska Cooperative Development Center as a means to provide
existing and emerging rural cooperatives with a variety of management,
marketing, finance and operational assistance.
The Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development, Morrilton,
Ark., which will organize small sawmills into a flexible manufacturing
network for greater efficiencies and added value to products. Agribusinesses
and other rural businesses will be organized into a network for technology
transfer and greater market access.
The University of California-Davis Center for Cooperatives, which will
conduct an applied research project to enhance education and direct technical
assistance to cooperatives as well as assess the feasibility of a strawberry
marketing cooperative and organize a cooperative of Hmong (Southeast Asian
The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Foundation, Aurora, Colo., which will
help beef producers explore cooperative marketing opportunities, work with
small-scale goat ranchers to explore the feasibility of a cooperative to
produce and market fete cheese and strengthen existing value-added cooperatives.
The Cooperative Development Institute, Greenfield, Mass., which will provide
business planning and organizing for a community-based energy purchasing
cooperatives and a regional service cooperative to support other cooperatives,
as well as to continue conducting cooperative leadership training programs.
The University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Md., which will
establish a center to develop and deliver a range of technical assistance
actvities to benefit agricultural-based cooperatives on Maryland's Eastern
The Mississippi Association of Cooperatives, Jackson, Miss., which will
establish and operate a center to assist cooperatives through the development
of business plans and by evaluating marketing and processing strategies.
It will also assist co-ops by performing feasibility analysis and other
The North Dakota Association of Rural Cooperatives, Mandan, N.D., which
will continue work with value-added cooperatives for cattle ranchers and
vegetable growers and provide technical assistance to rural electric and
telephone cooperatives in a statewide effort to develop a fiber optic network.
The Puget Sound Development Foundation, Seattle, Wash., which will assist
Native American geoduck clam harvesters and hybrid poplar growers in forming
cooperatives to market their products and also to help organize a value-added
cooperative food processing center for livestock and produce on Lopez Island
in the San Juan Islands.
The Cooperative Development Services and the University of Wisconsin Center
for Cooperatives at Madison, which will assess the feasibility of an agri-forestry
cooperative that produces fast-growing hybrid poplars, organize a cooperative
of oilseed producers to market rapeseed for industrial users and assess
the feasibility of alternative livestock cooperatives.