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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 2024 Interagency Meetings on 98+ year of Cooperative Statistics Mapping Economic Resiliency and exploring new Horizons

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

A group of Start.Coop's incubation and acceleration cohorts

Start.Coop Launches Market-Ready Start-Ups by Scaling Out

Cooperatives for a Better World, a Manchester, NH, nonprofit known as Start.Coop, knows that there is no easy path to entrepreneurship. Its innovators—using extensive backgrounds in education, housing... Read More
Man prepares to open electric box

USDA Funding Helps Mitigate Fire Risk for Electric Co-op Service Area

Many of us don’t often think about where the electricity comes from that powers the lights in our home and charges our cell phones. However, residents living in communities powered by Kit Carson... Read More
Large, cavernous warehouse with bins of fertilizer.

Fertilizer Grant Increases Access for Growers in Rural Montana

Farmer’s Union Oil Company of Circle and Terry is a farm and ranch supply cooperative that started in 1930. It serves member owners with products such as fuel, propane, fertilizer, and tires. In... Read More
View all Success Stories


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