Valadao supports rural cooperatives, communities with legislation

Rep. David Valadao
Rep. David Valadao

Local Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-22) joined Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo, M.D. (CO-08) to introduce the Supporting Rural Cooperatives and Communities, legislation that reauthorizes and makes improvements to the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG), which helps individuals and businesses start, expand, or improve rural cooperatives or other mutually-owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers.

“Rural areas like many in the Central Valley rely on cooperatives to provide some of the most important services to our communities, including health care, housing, and childcare,” said Congressman Valadao. “Rural cooperatives throughout the country, including here in the Valley, need more federal support to stay afloat. I’m proud to introduce the Strengthening Rural Cooperatives and Communities Act with Rep. Caraveo to ensure our rural communities have the resources they need to thrive.”

“Cooperatives provide a lifeline for rural Colorado communities -- helping hardworking families scale their businesses, reach more consumers, and access utilities like water and electricity. Unfortunately, years of underinvestment have put the future of this unique support model at risk. Rural cooperatives in Colorado and around the country need more support,” said Congresswoman Caraveo. “I’m proud to be joined by Rep. Valadao in introducing the bipartisan Strengthening Rural Cooperatives and Communities Act, which will provide desperately needed relief to rural cooperatives and invest in underserved rural communities who need it most.”


A cooperative is a business owned and controlled by the people who use its services, often for the mutual benefit of a community. This model empowers rural communities to collectively address economic challenges and meet common needs. For instance, a rural community might establish a cooperative to purchase bulk goods like seed and fertilizer collectively, sell members’ farm products to larger markets, or offer utilities like electricity, which would otherwise be unavailable to individual families.

The Strengthening Rural Cooperatives and Communities Act reauthorizes the Rural Community Development Grant program and prioritizes cooperatives in RCDG awards. It also cuts burdensome red tape, steers funding toward underserved communities, and measures progress on cooperative development. Specifically, the bill:

  • Reauthorizes funding for Rural Community Development Grants at $40 million annually from FY24 to FY28;
  • Ensures scoring for grants does not disadvantage under-resourced organizations;
  • Reduces regulatory burden by implementing multi-year grants;
  • Prioritizes grants for socially vulnerable, underserved, or distressed communities and requires the Working Group on Cooperative Development to submit an annual report detailing their activities to Congress.
Comments powered by Disqus