Application window now open for 2024 Rural Cooperative Development Grant and Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant


Eligible applicants must submit their application by 11:59 PM EDT on June 3, 2024. [photo courtesy USDA RD]
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently accepting applications for two key cooperative programs, the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) and the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG). The two programs provide a total of $8.8 million in funding to support the development of rural cooperatives through technical assistance.

For both RCDG and SDGG grants, eligible applicants must submit an application by 11:59 PM EDT on June 3, 2024.  

Save the date for two opportunities to strengthen your USDA grant application

In partnership with USDA Rural Development staff, NCBA CLUSA will host two webinars next month—one for RCDG and one for SDGG—outlining ways in which applicants can strengthen their USDA grant application for each respective program prior to the June 3 submission deadline. These two upcoming webinars are a great opportunity to gain application insights directly from experts at USDA.

Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) Webinar
Monday, May 13 from 1-2:30 pm EDT 

Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) Webinar
Thursday, May 16 from 3:30-5 pm ET 

Keep an eye out for NCBA CLUSA updates with additional details and links to register for these upcoming webinars. 

Authorized through the Farm Bill, the RCDG program provides grants up to $200,000 to Co-op Development Centers established through nonprofits or institutions of higher education. Centers act as a catalyst to improve the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural cooperatives. A development center can be located in any area, but the individuals and businesses assisted must be located in an eligible rural area. 

The current Farm Bill reauthorization deadline is set for September 30. The Strengthening Rural Cooperatives and Communities Act (H.R. 6661), introduced by Reps. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO-08) and David Valadao (R-CA-22), would build on the successes of the RCDG program by reauthorizing the program and making key improvements to maximize federal dollars while increasing capacity for rural technical assistance providers.  

Support the Strengthening Rural Cooperatives and Communities Act

NCBA CLUSA encourages your organization to support the Strengthening Rural Cooperatives and Communities Act (H.R. 6661) by filling out this endorsement form.

Complete the endorsement form

The SDGG program awards grants up to $175,000 to cooperatives and Co-op Development Centers, providing technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas through activities such as conducting feasibility studies, developing business plans, providing leadership and operational improvement training, and facilitating strategic planning.  

For more information on uses and applicant eligibility, visit the federal register notice for RCDG and SDGG. Interested applicants can access the application via for both RCDG and SDGG. Any additional questions can be answered by contacting your nearest Rural Development office. 

If you are interested in learning more about NCBA CLUSA’s Advocacy work, please email    

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