Last week at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund's annual meeting, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer announced that $4.5 million in grants will go to 23 Rural Cooperative Development Centers in 22 states.
"Rural Cooperative Development Centers work closely to mentor entrepreneurs and grow local business with technical advice and research," said Schafer. "This hometown support, close at hand, strengthens jobs and opportunities throughout rural communities."
The grants can be used to finance up to 75% of the costs of establishing and operating centers to help improve rural economic conditions. In addition, two new rural cooperative development centers will be established with the funds announced by Schafer: the Resource Center for Value Added and Alternative Agriculture at North Carolina State University, and the Appalachian Forest Resource Center in Clarke County, Ohio.