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Grant Highlight: Up & Coming Food Co-op Conference

With support from a Howard Bowers Fund grant, Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC) will welcome 300 cooperators at its annual Up & Coming Food Co-op Conference in March 2020. The conference, which addresses issues faced by start-up food co-ops, is the only conference of its type within the United States. 

Conference participants will attend sessions allowing them to receive training from experts and participate in networking sessions where they can benefit from what ICDC calls “peer learning.” The conference provides a forum for attendees to gain valuable knowledge and expertise as they work through the organizing process and open their food co-ops.  The Howard Bowers Fund grant will be used to provide scholarships.

“Starting a food co-op isn’t easy. It’s hard work and requires the efforts of many people over a long period of time” said Deb Trocha, Executive Director, ICDC. “Support from the Bowers Fund enables us to continue to provide this training at an affordable price to enable as many people as possible to attend.” 

The Up & Coming Food Co-op Conference will be held on March 6-7, 2020 in Madison, WI.  Cooperators can register by visiting the conference website. Those interested in submitting a scholarship application must do so by December 14, 2020. 

About the Howard Bowers Fund

Supported by the food cooperative community and guided by the fifth and sixth cooperative principles to promote education, training, and cooperation among cooperatives, the Howard Bowers Fund invests in the professional growth and development of food cooperative staff and board members with bi-annual grants and scholarships. The Fund provides training and education grants and scholarships to professional conferences for food cooperatives, sponsorship of education conferences for food cooperative boards and staff, and development of educational materials relevant to food cooperatives. Applications for the 2020 spring grant cycle must be submitted by February 15, 2020 by visiting 

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