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Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development

What resilient economic engine creates market opportunities, helps underrepresented people, keeps profits in the local community, and fights climate change? The cooperative!

In a cooperative, people with a common interest pool their funds and create a business that they own, control democratically, and benefit from financially based on how much they patronize (or use) the cooperative.

Cooperatives can address community needs, focus on a broad range of purposes beyond profits, raise wages, and operate in almost every industry. They provide electricity, broadband, rural groceries, child care, home care, financial services, housing, and operate in the supply chain, agriculture, and education. Cooperatives address market gaps by providing essential goods and services. They can also preserve local jobs when a retiring business owner converts the business to a worker cooperative.

The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the Agriculture Secretary to “chair an interagency working group to foster cooperative development and ensure coordination with federal agencies andcooperative organizations….” 7 U.S.C. section 1932(e)(12.

View 2023 Interagency meetings of the Housing Committee, the Food Committee, the Child Care Committee, the Real Estate Committee and the Equitable Ecosystem Committee. 

View 2022 meetings of the of Care Committee, the Food Committee, the Environment Committee, and the Conversions Committee.

Success Stories

Brian Sinclair holds state shaped cutting boards

Worker-Owned Cooperative Preserves Rural Jobs in Wisconsin

With three months until the business was closing, the employees at Bemis Manufacturing were up against the clock. The owner of the wood manufacturing business was reaching retirement and needed to... Read More
Common Enterprise Staff

Worker Cooperative Model: Empowering Workers & Creating Community

Thomas Beckett and his team are passionate about what they do. Beckett’s resilience and persistence broke ground in North Carolina in 2012 when they opened Carolina Common Enterprise. Opening the... Read More
Bobbie Grubb's community becomes cooperative-owned with the help of NCF.

Rural Wisconsin Community Embraces Cooperative Homeowner Model

In 2016, Bobbie Grubb’s manufactured housing community in Wisconsin converted to a cooperative-owned model, a move that would afford residents the power to control what happens in their community for... Read More
View all Success Stories


For questions or comments please contact: coopinfo@usda.gov.