A USDA-awarded grant is helping AURI boost capacity for helping agricultural cooperatives in the state. The Rural Cooperative Development grant will help AURI provide greater scientific technical assistance, project facilitation and organizational development assistance to new and existing cooperatives in the areas of local food marketing and distribution, dairy processing, livestock feed processing, food processing and renewable energy.
Minnesota has a long and successful history in developing cooperatives. AURI is adding capacity toassist in the development of cooperatives with a new level of emphasis on feasibility and business development.
“Cooperatives are still a very effective way for producers to collectively organize in order to accomplish more than they could as individuals,” says Dennis Timmerman, AURI project development director. Timmerman says working with cooperatives isn’t new for AURI because “many of our current clients are cooperatives, but we now have greater resources to assist in planning and development efforts.”