Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall today announced that the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Education and Charitable Foundation has received a $175,000 competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant program. The competitive grant will be used to support a business development center for newly formed cooperatives in Colorado.
“After suffering through one of the worst droughts in decades, Colorado farmers and ranchers are working hard to recover and spur the economic recovery in rural communities across the state,” Bennet said. “This grant will support producers in our state with leadership training, youth education initiatives, and the development of agricultural cooperatives that will promote economic development in rural areas. These types of investments create opportunities for farmers and ranchers to grow the local economy.”
“This competitive grant award is good news for the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Foundation and rural Colorado. Job creation in rural areas is critical to our state’s economic recovery, and these funds will help the foundation continue its important work to support the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in rural communities across Colorado,” Udall said. “The foundation’s work to spur economic activity and enhance our quality of life is the kind of support Coloradans need to move us – and the rest of rural America – toward a brighter economic future.”
The RMFU Foundation was created in 1992 to foster educational and charitable activities that strengthen diverse rural economies. The business development center will help provide innovative technical and educational assistance for Colorado producers. Bennet and Udall sent a letter in August to USDA in support of the grant application.
The USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant program provides resources to improve the economic condition of rural areas by assisting individuals or entities in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other business entities.