Nebraska Cooperative Development Center

Dedicated to assisting people prosper in rural areas by helping them work together through cooperative business development

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Stapleton's new cooperative grocery store. Read More

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Congratulations to Jim Crandall

Recognized by the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals as the Individual 2017 Recipient for his Creativity and Innovation with Nebraska Cooperative Development Center.

National Food Entrepreneur Program Seminar

The University of Nebraska Food Processing Center is offering a one-day seminar for all individuals interested in exploring the idea of starting a food manufacturing business. Please encourage interested individuals in your community to attend the “Recipe to Reality” seminar which will be offered on June 24, 2017. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Registration deadline is June 5, 2017. Contact Jill Gifford at 402-472-2819 or for an information packet.

Microloans Developed with Mid-Sized, Small Farms in Mind

FSA is offering farm ownership and operating microloans as an option to better serve the unique financial needs of beginning, niche and small family farm operations. This loan option also will be useful to specialty crop producers and community supported agriculture (CSA) operators.

Operating microloans can be used to pay for initial start-up expenses such as hoop houses to extend the growing season, essential tools, irrigation and annual expenses such as seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents, marketing and distribution expenses. Ownership microloans are available to help with farm land and building purchases, and soil and water conservation improvements. Microloans provide up to $50,000 in loan assistance to qualified producers and can be issued to the applicant directly from FSA.

To learn more about the FSA microloan program visit, or contact your local FSA office.

Nebraska Cooperative Development Center Contacts

Elaine Cranford:

Jim Crandall:



USDA Rural Development Provides Assistance to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Nebraska Cooperative Development Center

LINCOLN, NE December 20, 2016--From its beginning in 2000, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (NCDC) has provided education, training, and technical assistance to cooperatively owned businesses.

NCDC has been funded in part through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program and Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grants (SDGG) program.  NCDC works with groups who have incorporated or have an interest in forming cooperatives, LLCs and other “multi-owner” businesses.

Cooperative Business Development Specialist Jim Crandall provided the following information about cooperative business development projects.  The projects include the marketing of value-added agriculture products, marketing and distribution of local foods, and the establishment of community-owned retail stores on Main Street in rural towns.

The idea of people working together for a common cause, especially in small towns, has many appealing components that make its use in rural areas easily accepted and embraced.  The cooperative model concentrates on the “user owned”, “user-controlled”, and “user benefited” concept of business activities. 

Read Article Here

Organic Certification Cost Share Program Available Through FSA

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Certified operations may receive up to 75 percent of their certification costs paid from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017, not to exceed $750 per certification scope.

Eligible costs include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage. Ineligible costs include equipment, materials, supplies, transitional certification fees, late fees and inspections necessary to address National Organic Program regulatory violations.

Producers and handlers may submit OCCSP applications to FSA county offices. The FSA OCCSP application form is available at USDA's eForms site, by selecting "Browse forms" and entering "OCCSP" in the "title or keywords" field on the search page.

To learn more about organic certification cost share, visit or contact a local FSA office by visiting