Nebraska Cooperative Development Center

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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

Congratulations to Jim Crandall
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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.

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Agricultural Producers and Small Rural Businesses Develop New Products

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett has announced that USDA is accepting applications for grants to help farmers, ranchers and producer-based businesses nationwide develop new product lines. The funding is being provided through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.
Read more.

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 www.fsa.usda.gov/microloans, or contact your local FSA office.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

November 3rd, 2017, Grand Island, NE
This course satisfies the requirement of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule that any farm growing covered produce have a supervisor or other responsible party attend an approved grower training course. Learn what is expected of your farm!

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 www.fsa.usda.gov/organic or contact a local FSA office by visiting http://offices.usda.gov.

Nebraska Cooperative Development Center Contacts

Elaine Cranford: ecranford2@unl.edu
402-472-1748

Jim Crandall: jcrandall3@unl.edu
308-995-3889

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