In the past two years, CDI received several large grants that are helping us expand our work while continuing to offer the services that have been vital to launching and supporting co-ops in New England and New York. In October of 2012, the USDA recognized CDI as the Northeast Center for Cooperative Business Development and awarded us a $175,000 Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG). We used these funds to work with over 100 groups, 35 of them intensively; provide 33 educational events; and help establish 10 new cooperatively structured entities. The following year, the USDA awarded us our 15th RCDG, for $200,000, which is supporting our current work in building a cooperative economy in the Northeast.
CDI also received a different USDA grant, the Small and Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant, for just over $45,000. This is the first time CDI has applied directly for this type of grant, which we are using to work with immigrant and refugee farmers in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. You can read more about all the new initiatives we’re undertaking thanks to this grant.
In a vote of confidence in our entrepreneurial abilities, anonymous donors gave CDI $60,000 to support expansion of the New England Resident Owned Communities program in Maine, as well as $65,000 to seed CDI’s Business Ownership Solutions initiative.