|Mar 01, 2011 --
USDA Rural Development relies on strong relationships with our partners to help provide outreach and technical assistance to California’s rural areas. Through these alliances we can leverage resources and better serve the individuals, businesses and cooperatives throughout our state.
One such partnership is between USDA Rural Development and the California Center for Cooperative Development (CCCD). CCCD has received the Rural Cooperative Development Grant for the past three years, during which time we have collaborated on several projects. CCCD promotes cooperatives as a vibrant business model to address the economic and social needs of California’s communities, and provides technical assistance to address the growing needs of our rural communities.
For the past couple years, the two agencies have co-hosted different events throughout October to celebrate Co-op Month. Events all include information on the impact cooperatives have in our lives, as well as information on USDA Rural Development programs available. One such activity is the joint booth at the Davis Farmer’s Market. Staff provided educational pamphlets and samples of products from local cooperatives were distributed. Our strategic partnership also includes identifying groups that have asked for assistance in a rural area and what the needs in that area are. For example, Lake County was interested in starting a retail standalone grocery store to offer consumers a reliable source of affordable, fresh, local foods. CCCD worked with the county to conduct a feasibility study, and determined that whereas a stand-alone store was not a viable option, a cooperative that would run an on-line ordering and distribution service was feasible.
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