A cooperative is business owned and democratically controlled by the people who use its services. Cooperatives primarily operate for the benefit of members rather than earn profits for external investors.

Since 1998, USDA Rural Development Wisconsin has offered extensive technical assistance to organize new cooperatives and to use the cooperative model to address unmet economic or community needs.

Types of Technical Assistance

  • Present general information on co-op program
  • Help groups explore co-op structural options to meet their aspirations
  • Organize a steering committee and board of directors
  • Guide a steering committee through the steps of organizing a co-op
  • Draft by-laws, articles of incorporation, and co-op policies
  • Research portions of a feasibility study and business plan
  • Explore an equity drive and financing options
  • Provide initial and ongoing board of directors and membership training
  • Train future co-op development practitioners

Topics on this page include:

Program Details
More Information and How to Apply

2012 NOFA Announced! Deadline: August 6, 2012

Program Details


Non-profit organizations and institutions of higher learning for use in rural areas (less than 50,000 in population and density of not more than 100 persons per square mile).

More Information and How to Apply

More Info:

More information about this program can be found in the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Brochure.


Contact Margaret Bau at our State Office for more information or visit our National website for application materials.