The Interagency Working Group for Cooperative Development (IWGCD) was established to foster cooperative development and ensure coordination with Federal agencies and national and local cooperative organizations that have cooperative programs and interests. In recognition of the role the cooperative business model plays throughout the U.S. economy, Congress, through the Agricultural Act of 2014, Section 7 USC 1932(e)(12), has directed USDA to take the lead in starting an Interagency Working Group for Cooperative Development. This section of the Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to “coordinate and chair an interagency working group to foster cooperative development and ensure coordination with federal agencies and national and local cooperative organizations that have cooperative programs and interests.”
With the expansion of cooperatives in healthcare, local food distribution, manufactured housing, as well as community economic development in starting and preserving businesses, interagency sharing of information in the Federal Government will expand and improve these efforts. The cooperative community is interested in sharing knowledge and working with government agencies at local, state, and federal levels.
Co-ops have been USDA’s partners in delivering programs to farmers and rural residence at lower costs while expanding access to opportune programs to underserved communities. The IWGCD will become a centralized source of expert knowledge and resources for helping cooperatives and government agencies achieve their shared goals. Our cooperative partners and participating agencies are listed on the resources tab.
- October 4, 2016: Department of Commerce
- May 5, 2016: The White House | Agenda
- February 16, 2016: Small Business Administration | Agenda | Invitees List
- October 13, 2015: USDA Inaugural Meeting | Agenda | Invitees List