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Washington State

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Technical Assistance For Cooperatives

USDA Rural Development provides technical assistance to existing cooperatives facing specific problems or challenges. Technical assistance could include helping a cooperative develop a strategic marketing plan to cope with new competitive forces, helping a co-op make a crucial decision whether to merge or form a joint venture with other cooperatives, or in finding a way to turn the raw products of cooperative members into value-added products. These matters are often crucial issues not only for a cooperative, but also for the rural communities in which they operate. Rural Development can help improve a cooperative’s business structure and operating efficiency by analyzing operations, assessing the economic feasibility of adding new facilities, new products or services. Studies cover the full range of decisions facing cooperative businesses. Technical assistance is largely designed to benefit a specific cooperative business or group. However, the results often provide business strategy for all cooperatives.

USDA Rural Development conducts research to provide a knowledge base to help cooperatives deal with changing markets and business trends. Studies include financial, structural, managerial, policy, member governance, legal, and social issues, as well as various other economic activities of cooperatives. Research is designed to have direct application to current and emerging requirements of cooperatives. A major challenge is to analyze industry structure and cooperative operational practices to determine the changes required to maintain or achieve a producer-oriented marketing system. Recent research studies have focused on capitalization plans used by cooperatives, identification of new niche markets for cooperatives, and opportunities and obstacles cooperatives face when exporting goods overseas.

FFor information or assistance on cooperatives, please contact:
Business & Cooperative Development Specialist
Rodney Peach
Email: rodney.peach@wa.usda.gov
1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Suite C
Olympia, WA 98517
Telephone: (360) 704-7724
FAX: (360) 704-7742


You may also contact:

Northwest Cooperative Development Center
1063 S. Capitol Way # 211
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: (360) 943-4241
Fax: (360) 570-8415

The Northwest Cooperative Development Center is a nonprofit organization devoted to assisting new and existing cooperative businesses foster community economic development, primarily through the cooperative business model.

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 Last modified: March 26, 2010