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October 28, 2014    

At NCBA CLUSA-hosted event, USDA Deputy Under Secretary O’Brien calls co-ops “bright spot” in rural America Special Feature Banner

Co-ops are a “bright spot” for job creation in rural America, and with “wise, strategic” investment in cooperative business, the public and private sectors can help provide the influx of capital Middle America needs to match the rate of post-recession economic recovery enjoyed by metropolitan centers along the East and West Coasts.

That was the message from Doug O’Brien, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development, at last week’s Co-op Month Forum and Panel Discussion hosted by NCBA CLUSA at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The event highlighted the role of co-ops in growing the U.S. economy and creating sustainable jobs, and featured development experts from the USDA, U.S. Small Business Administration and the private sector.

Co-ops currently provide 185,000 jobs in rural America and deliver services to more than 130 million member-owners and customers. Last year, the nation’s farmer co-ops alone charted record sales of more than 246 billion.

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  THUMB For Linda Phillips, upcoming Co-op Professionals Conference will provide unparalleled collaborative opportunities 

Linda D. Phillips, Esq., partner at Phillips Law Offices LLC, provides legal advice and expertise in litigation to her clients, many of them cooperative businesses. She’s part of a team of distinguished legal experts working with NCBA CLUSA to organize a brand-new platform for professional collaboration within the cooperative movement—the inaugural Cooperative Professionals Conference.

The November 6 to 8 conference in Denver, Colorado, will offer networking and continuing education opportunities for attorneys, accountants, CPAs, financial and investment advisors, insurance advisors and legislative staff who work within the cooperative sphere or are interested in expanding their services to include co-ops.


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  THUMB USDA Webinar: The role of cooperatives in local food systems development

In celebration of Co-op Month, NCBA CLUSA is pleased to invite its members to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), national cooperative leaders and development specialists for an engaging webinar on how cooperatives have benefited food supply chains and played a critical role in developing local and regional food systems.

Andrew Jermolowicz, Associate Deputy Administrator of Coop Programs at USDA Rural Development, will moderate the discussion, scheduled for October 30, 2014, at 1 p.m. ET. 


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  THUMB Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces funding to strengthen rural businesses and cooperatives

An October 24 announcement by the USDA reflects the advocacy efforts of NCBA CLUSA and its partners to preserve funding for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program, which boosts economic development in rural communities nationwide:  

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 43 organizations in 27 states for grants and loans to help create jobs and boost economic development activity in rural areas. The announcement culminates a week in which the department has been highlighting products that are Made In Rural America.


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  THUMB Tackling economic inequality in the U.S. through worker co-ops

In June, the New York City Council voted to approve a historic $1.2 million initiative to fund the development of worker co-ops as a way for low-income and minority New Yorkers to become business owners. Co-operative News reporter Anca Voinea explores the impact of worker co-ops in economic inequality in this story:  

While there are many forms of inequality, gender inequality remains a concerning issue in modern society. In the U.S., female workers are still paid only 77 cents for every dollar their male colleagues make. For immigrant workers, finding decent employment is even a greater challenge.


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NCBA CLUSA Upcoming Events  

Webinar: The Role of Cooperatives in Local Food Systems Development
2014-Oct-30 01:00 pm - to - 2014-Oct-28 02:00 pm
Co-op Professionals Conference
2014-Nov-06 03:00 pm - to - 2014-Nov-08 12:00 pm
Crossroads Cooperative Summit
2014-Nov-07 08:30 am - to - 2014-Oct-28 03:30 pm
Webinar: Trends in the Retirement Plan Industry–Multiple Employer Plans
2014-Nov-18 02:00 pm - to - 2014-Oct-28 03:00 pm
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The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
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