Investing in Rural Cooperatives

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Kansas State Director for Rural Development Christy Davis has announced that Rural Development is investing more than $6.6 million in loans and grants to spur economic development through rural cooperatives in Kansas.

“Cooperatives serve as one of our most important partners in delivering critical goods and services to rural Kansas,” Davis said. “For more than a century, the cooperative business model has been an integral part of the rural American economy.”

The announcement is part of a larger national announcement that includes 35 other states and Puerto Rico.

The details of the Kansas projects are:

A $198,399 grant will provide technical assistance to Kansas State University for their project “Building a Rural Cooperative Landscape in Kansas.” The project focuses on new and existing rural grocery stores that are transitioning to mutually owned business models, including the cooperative model in rural communities. The Rural Grocery Initiative will work with partners across Kansas to enhance and deliver cooperative development services. The primary objective of the Center will be to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development. It is anticipated that 74 businesses will be assisted, and 10 jobs created as result of the project and four jobs saved.

· A $2,000,000 loan will provide loan funds to Secure Semiconductor Manufacturing, LLC for furnishings, equipment, supplies, working capital and other costs related to their new semiconductor manufacturing plant being constructed north of Burlington. The project is estimated to create 30 jobs and will be part of a high-tech cluster bringing 1,200 jobs to Kansas.

· A $446,800 loan will help remodel and rehabilitate the Arbor House Event Locale & Stable, LLC event center in Bennington. The project is estimated to create six jobs.

· A $2,000,000 loan will provide loans to rural utilities program borrowers to spur economic development. This project will provide loan funds for WWS, Inc. to construct an 81-room hotel in Colby. The project will result in the creation of 30 jobs.

· A $2,000,000 loan will provide loans to rural utilities program borrowers to spur economic development. This project will provide loan funds for Wooden, Inc. to construct a 93-room hotel in Colby. The project will result in the creation of 30 jobs.

USDA is making these investments through two of our many business-related programs. Today’s five Kansas announcements are through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, and the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program.

Background: Rural Cooperatives

Cooperatives are businesses owned and controlled by the people who use them. Cooperatives differ from other businesses because they are member owned and operate for the benefit of members, rather than to earn profits for investors.

Cooperatives are a trusted, democratic, time-tested business model that builds local wealth for members and communities. Organized to meet the economic needs of its member-owners, a cooperative is a particularly resilient business. It embodies the concept of self-help: members use the cooperative, own it, and control it.

More than 30,000 cooperatives – including agricultural, utility, financial services, purchasing, food and grocery, housing, and retail co-ops – operate at 73,000 places of business throughout the U.S., and account for more than two million jobs, boast about 350 million memberships, and generate more than $700 billion in annual revenue.

USDA Rural Development offers a variety of financial assistance and services to assist rural businesses, including cooperatives and agricultural producers. For more information on cooperatives, visit USDA Rural Development Cooperative Services.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.