News & Views

With support from foundations and donors like you, CDS has taken on the challenge of urban development, and in 2015 initiated projects in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee, Northeast Minneapolis, and several neighborhoods in St. Paul.

On November 7, 2015, almost 100 members and managers from 34 small and start-up co-ops from WI, MN, MI, IA and ND gathered at the inaugural Small And Strong Conference at Normandale Community College in Minneapolis. The annual conference is only one part of a package of support being created by a team of co-op organizations including Northcountry Cooperative Foundation, Shared Capital Cooperative, UW Center for Cooperatives, and Land Stewardship Project, and sponsored by CDS Consulting Co-op, the CHS Foundation, and the Cooperative Foundation.  Commitments are already in place for a 2016 conference, and a 4-5 session webinar series; we’re still developing funding for a cost-share program for individualized technical assistance, and a peer support network, all to be put in place in 2016.

Cooperative Development Services has completed a case study of the cooperative food system in the Twin Cities with particular focus on this as a local foods system operating at scale. Authored by Joan Stockinger of CDS and Dave Gutknecht of Cooperative Grocer magazine, the full study is available for download in PDF format.  CDS and the authors are available to discuss the findings of the study with interested cooperatives, co-op related groups, and local foods groups.  Contact us at with inquiries.

January 3, 2013 - Two generations of the Van der Pol family operate Pastures a Plenty, a value-added pork business in Kerkhoven MN. From 2010-12, CDS assisted the Van der Pols with business planning to expand their operation; we also assisted them in obtaining funding to implement their business plan through USDA's Value-Added Producer Grant program. 

November 20, 2012    CDS has always been fortunate to have board members provide vision and leadership, and who embody cooperative values. Bob Bauman was a CDS board member, representing rural electric co-ops, in the 1990s during a period of great growth.  We are pleased to note his most recent honor:  Induction into the Iowa Cooperative Hall of Fame. 

November 2, 2012 - USDA Rural Development today announced that Cooperative Development Services will receive a $175,000 grant to assist in the establishment of rural cooperatives and businesses in the Upper Midwest.  Read more in the news release attached.

In a guest article in Eastside Food Co-op's newsletter, CDS Executive Director Kevin Edberg comments on the effects of "capitalism-run-amok," and recognizes cooperative enterprise as a principled buisness model.

With help from The Cooperative Foundation CDS will identify community development opportunities for co-ops in MN, WI, and IA.

CDS co-founder Rod Nilsestuen was honored this week at his alma mater.

With help from CDS and others, a new and innovative co-op focuses on redevelopment in NE Minneapolis.