The U.S. Department of Agriculture is soliciting feedback on how to better award grants to launch, grow and enhance cooperatives in rural areas.
Specifically, the department wants to know how it can improve the application process, eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria for its Rural Cooperative Development Grant program. The RCDG program hosts a national competition for universities and nonprofit organizations to win up to $200,000 in funding for a Rural Cooperative Development Center. The winners must use the funds to provide services for rural cooperatives like training, business plan development and strategic planning. The program currently has $5.8 million in funding.
To submit feedback and recommendations, register here for the virtual listening session on September 16 at 2:00 p.m. EST or send in written comments here by October 25 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Find more information on the program here.