Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program

  • Donald Mulson
  • Business Programs Specialist
  • USDA Rural Development
  • 2118 W. Park Court, Suite A,
  • Champaign, IL 61821
  • Phone: (217) 403-6216
  • Fax: 855-832-8691
  • Email:
  • Website Link:

Purpose of the Program

The primary objective of the RCDG program is to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development.  Grant funds are provided for the establishment and operation of Centers that have the expertise or who can contract out for the expertise to assist individuals or entities in the startup, expansion, or operational improvement of cooperative businesses.

Who is Eligible

Grants must be for one year or less, and funds must be used in a rural area.  The grantee must provide a 25 percent match of the cost of establishing and operating centers for rural cooperative development.

Application Process

The agency solicits applications for the nationally competitive program annually through a notice in the Federal Register.  Information on guidelines is available at

Availability of Funds

The maximum grant award is $175,000.

How Funds are to be used

Funds may be used to conduct feasibility studies, business plans, applied research, and to provide training and other technical assistance to new and existing cooperatives and rural businesses.

Types of Assistance


Year Program was established