Rural Cooperative Development Grants


To improve the economic condition of rural areas by assisting individuals and businesses in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Rural Business-Cooperative Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
7 USC 1932(e).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants are not eligible if they have been debarred or suspended or otherwise excluded from participation in Federal assistance programs under Executive Order 12549, “Debarment and Suspension.” Applicants are not eligible if they have an outstanding judgement obtained by the U.S. in a Federal Court (other than U.S. Tax Court), are delinquent on the payment of Federal income taxes, or are delinquent on a Federal debt. Any corporation that has been convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the past 24 months or that has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for funding.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Ultimate beneficiaries must be located in rural areas.
An annual Federal Register notice will describe documentation requirements. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants must follow the procedures described in an annual Federal Register notice.
Award Procedure
Applications are evaluated for eligibility for the program. Eligible applications are reviewed by a panel of experts and ranked according to published evaluation criteria. Applications are funded in rank order until available funds have been expended.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days. Applications are typically approved/disapproved within 60-90 days of receipt.
Applicants may appeal adverse decisions in accordance with 7 CFR Part 11. The Agency provides instructions on how to appeal with each adverse decision.
How are proposals selected?
Applications are evaluated based on 10 criteria: (1) Administrative Capabilities, (2) Technical Assistance and Other Services, (3) Economic Development, (4) Past Performance in Establishing Legal Entities, (5) Networking and Regional Focus, (6) Commitment, (7) Matching Funds, (8) Work Plan/Budget, (9) Qualifications of Key Personnel, and (10) Local and Future Support. Applicants should review 7 CFR § 4284.513 and the annual Federal Register notice for details on how these criteria will be scored.
How may assistance be used?
Funds must be used to provide technical assistance to individuals and businesses in rural areas for the purpose of cooperative development. Funds must be used for cooperative development, although limited use of funds for assistance to other business types may be allowed at the Agency’s discretion. All available funds are discretionary funds and must be awarded through a national competition.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Program reports are not applicable. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress reports must be submitted semi-annually. Expenditure reports must be submitted semi-annually using Form SF-425. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. No additional audit procedures are required for this program.
Recipients must comply with 2 CFR §§ 200.333-.337.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 25.%. Matching funds are subject to the same restrictions as grant funds. 1994 Institutions only need to provide 5% of the total budget as matching funds.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Awards are typically made during September each year. The Period of Performance is one year. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are disbursed as often as monthly, as requested by the recipient using Form SF-270.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Contact information for USDA Rural Development State Offices is available at:
Headquarters Office
Rural Business-Cooperative Service 1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Mail Stop 3253, Room 4208-South
, Washington, District of Columbia 20250-3253 Email: Phone: 202-690-1374
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 14 $5,800,000; FY 15 est $5,800,000; and FY 16 est $5,800,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Average = $180,000
Range = $70,000 (minimum) to $200,000 (maximum).
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR 4284, Subparts A and F
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: An award of $200,000 was made to assist meat processing cooperatives link producers with local and regional consumers.

An award of $200,000 was made to help establish cooperatives focusing on health care, local foods, and senior housing, as well as to help Native American tribal members form a cooperative. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available


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