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Biden-Harris Administration Invests More Than $4 Million in Rural Cooperatives to Increase Economic Opportunity

Chris Freeman
Release Date

BISMARCK, N.D. Nov. 9, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Erin Oban today announced that USDA is investing more than $4 million in loans and grants to spur economic development and increase rural prosperity in North Dakota. In October, USDA celebrated its 59th annual National Cooperative Month and the vital role cooperatives play in helping people build bright futures in rural America.

“Cooperatives have a long and impactful history in North Dakota, delivering essential programs and services and providing good jobs to rural people and places," said Oban. "The Biden Administration’s commitment to and USDA Rural Development’s responsibility of making investments in and through cooperatives are helping to enhance economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for North Dakotans. We’re grateful for the continued vision and leadership of the ND Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives and their members, Nodak Electric and Capital Electric, and the partnerships these cooperatives have with those they serve.”

In North Dakota:

  • The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives will use a $200,000 grant through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program to provide technical assistance to cooperatives and mutually owned businesses to service rural areas in North Dakota. The support offered from this investment will help improve the quality of life and economic conditions of rural areas throughout the state of North Dakota.
  • Nodak Electric Cooperative will use a $2,000,000 loan through the Rural Economic Development Loan Program to assist the Devils Lake Park Board with renovation of an existing commercial property in Devils Lake. The proposed outcome of this project will consist of a family entertainment center to benefit the community and increase the Devils Lake Park Board staff by 11 employees.
  • Capital Electric Cooperative will use a $2,000,000 loan through the Rural Economic Development Loan Program to assist Two Track Malting, LLC in the expansion of a manufacturing facility near Menoken. The new 13,000 sq ft facility will enable the recent growth witnessed in its malting manufacturing facility and initially add 2-4 employees.

Background: Rural Cooperatives

Cooperatives are businesses owned and controlled by the people who use them. Cooperatives differ from other businesses because they are member owned and operate for the benefit of members, rather than to earn profits for investors.

Cooperatives are a trusted, democratic, time-tested business model that builds local wealth for members and communities. Organized to meet the economic needs of its member-owners, a cooperative is a particularly resilient business. It embodies the concept of self-help: members use the cooperative, own it, and control it.

More than 30,000 cooperatives – including agricultural, utility, financial services, purchasing, food and grocery, housing, and retail co-ops - operate at 73,000 places of business throughout the U.S., and account for more than two million jobs, boast about 350 million memberships, and generate more than $700 billion in annual revenue. 

USDA Rural Development offers a variety of financial assistance and services to assist rural businesses, including cooperatives and agricultural producers. For more information on cooperatives, visit USDA Rural Development Cooperative Services.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.