Farm to Family Cooperative

The Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (NCDC) believes that the cooperative business model has the power to increase the quality of life and economic vitality of rural Nebraska. Cooperative businesses are unique because they are autonomous associations of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs, goals and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Cooperatives are distinguished by principles and practices.

NCDC assists groups and or communities who are exploring the cooperative model or are operating a business following cooperative practices. NCDC can guide a cooperative effort from visioning to implementation. Services include facilitation, connecting to resources, technical assistance and education.

NCDC has been Nebraska's source for cooperative-based business development since 1999.

The remote village of Lynch, Nebraska, near the South Dakota border, lost its only grocery store and became a food desert in spring 2020. The community opened a new cooperative grocery store on March 26. NCDC assisted the community with community survey development, distribution, and analysis; community and steering team meeting facilitation, cooperative resource providers referrals. 


The Lynch exploratory committee had extensive business experience albeit none in the grocery business.  We had no idea how to reopen the store when we held our first zoom meeting with Charlotte Narjes in December 2020.  Charlotte and Cynthia Houlden guided us through the survey process to gauge local interest.  Charlotte, Cynthia and Jordan Rasmussen led us through the cooperative formation and the grant applications.

We would have given up a long ago without their help.  As it stands right now, we have formed a cooperative, raised enough capital, purchased the former grocery building, secured a supplier, and plan to open in January or February 2022.

~ David Barnes, Lynch Grocery Exploratory Committee