Harrisburg, PA, Dec 13, 2010 -- UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384
Dawn Knepp (717) 237-2286
USDA Under Secretary Tonsager Announces Funding For Cooperatives To Create Jobs and Help Rural Businesses
WASHINGTON, October 5, 2010 – Agriculture Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager today announced support to help rural cooperatives expand economic activity in their community.
“Rural cooperatives are at the forefront of job creation and economic development initiatives that benefit local businesses and residents,” Tonsager said. “The grants I am announcing today will help these recipients continue their work. Their success underscores the importance of the cooperative system as a successful business model.”
The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program. During a speech to cooperative members and business groups, Tonsager highlighted Rural Development’s role in supporting cooperatives and recognized several cooperative projects and leaders across the country. He also noted that many cooperatives are participating in events during the next several weeks in recognition of National Cooperative Month. National Cooperative Month is observed every October to highlight the role cooperatives play in the economy and in people’s daily lives. According to the National Cooperative Business Association, the nation’s 30,000 cooperatives account for more than $650 billion in revenue and more than 2 million jobs.
One of the cooperatives selected for funding, Keystone Development Center (KDC) in York received $225,000 to help in their work with cooperative and economic development in Pennsylvania. KDC provides technical assistance, cooperative resources, education and financial assistance to support the formation of cooperatives.
USDA is providing $8.3 million in today’s announcement. Rural Cooperative Development Grants are made to improve economic conditions in rural areas by developing new cooperatives and improving the operations of existing cooperatives.
The following is a complete list of organizations that have been selected to receive Rural Cooperative Development Grants. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
Through its Rural Development mission area, USDA administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in the nation’s capital and 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers, and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.