Housing cooperatives are first topic in a lineup of Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development meetings to take place this summer and fall. Meetings will also focus on food systems, real estate and childcare, and conclude with a session envisioning an equitable cooperative ecosystem. The housing meeting is scheduled for Friday, June 30 from 2 to 3:30 pm EDT. Please see meeting dates, times and links below.
Meetings will be kicked off by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development leadership. A panel of private sector representatives will describe the needs of the particular cooperative sector. A second panel of Federal government representatives will discuss how current programs can meet the needs of cooperatives and brainstorm ideas for additional solutions. Each meeting will provide an opportunity for robust discussion.
During the meetings, USDA Cooperative Services will demonstrate their new Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development website. The website is intended to connect government and private sector partners with each other and share their information and financial resources with cooperatives and individuals seeking to form or strengthen cooperatives. A blue feedback tab on the right allows website users to tell USDA Cooperative Services how well the website is working.
The cooperative form of business allows people to meet a common need for essential goods and services that oftentimes has been overlooked by the market. Cooperatives exist in almost every industry including housing, childcare, health care, financial services, housing, electricity, broadband and grocery. Cooperatives operate in the supply chain, agriculture and education, and preserve local jobs when a retiring owner converts their business to a cooperative.
The Interagency Working Group meetings occur as a result of the 2014 Farm Bill mandate that the Agriculture Secretary “chair an interagency working group to foster cooperative development and ensure coordination with federal agencies and… cooperative organizations.” 7 U.S.C. section 1932(e)(12)
Forthcoming Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development Meetings
Friday, June 30; 2-3:30 pm EDT
Cooperatives in the Food Chain
Friday, July 14; 2-3:30 pm EDT
Friday, August 11; 2-3:30 pm EDT
Real Estate Cooperatives
Friday, September 15; 2-3:30 pm EDT
Envisioning an Equitable Cooperative Ecosystem
Friday, October 13; 2-3:30 pm EDT
For more information about this meeting series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.