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There’s a Co-op for That!

During this engaging 1-hour virtual presentation on May 9, 2024, we shared the basics of cooperative development and how it helps communities and business development  This presentation is for anyone interested in cooperatives as a tool for community wealth development. You will walk away with an increased knowledge of how co-ops can solve common situations for farmers, businesses, and residents.

Keystone Development Center (KDC) is the USDA Cooperative Center for Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. KDC embraces cooperative values and a mission to sustain communities, economies, and resources through cooperatively owned businesses. A co-op, or cooperative, is a user-controlled, user-owned enterprise. People voluntarily form a cooperative to meet common needs and benefit from the products or services of the cooperatives they create.

Slide Deck

There’s a Co-op for That! Resources

There’s a Co-op for That! Recording

2023 Regional Rural Broadband Forum

The Rural Maryland Council along with USDA Rural Development held a Regional Rural Broadband Forum on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. The forum allowed attendees to connect with other stakeholders interested in broadband access and to discuss ways to maximize available funding for rural broadband initiatives.  Breakout sessions were held on the latest broadband technologies, funding for broadband infrastructure projects, making your community attractive to providers, and using public-private partnerships for broadband development. Our keynote speaker was President of CTC Technology & Energy Ms. Joanne Hovis. Other special guest speakers included Secretary Jake Day of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the Comptroller of Maryland, Brooke Lierman.

View PowerPoint presentations from the forum below.

Digital Connectivity Act (2021)

The U.S., MD & DE Labor Markets since COVID-19

2023 Regional Broadband Forum -USDA Rural Development

Digital Equity & The Affordable Connectivity Program


Delaware Broadband

Broadband Mapping, Infrastructure and Digital Equity

Digital Inclusion – Case studies and practices

Power2Go Electric Vehicle Symposium 

The Rural Maryland Council along with Beach to Bay Heritage Area, Choptank Communications, Preservation Maryland, and the Maryland Heritage Area’s Coalition hosted a Power2Go Electric Vehicle Symposium to allow colleagues across the State to understand the National Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure priorities and opportunities, discover financing options and opportunities, identify creative solutions to possible roadblocks, and showcase working models and best practices.

View the Power2Go Symposium PowerPoint presentations and EV Toolkit information below:

EV charging infrastructure upgrade – rural communities presented by Jon Hanley

SMECO presented by Jeff Shaw

Making Maryland’s Heritage, Cultural & Recreation Destinations EV Friendly: A Focus on Maryland Scenic Byways presented by Marci Ross

National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (NEVI) presented by Dan Janousek

Rural Maryland Electric Vehicle Symposium presented by Diane Turchetta

Charging Forward: A Toolkit for Planning and Funding Rural Electric Mobility Infrastructure 

EV Toolkit Document

Non – Emergency Medical Transportation Roundtables

The Rural Maryland Council and the Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland held three hybrid roundtable discussions that took place across the State this past fall to identify the strategies for expanding non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) in Eastern, Western, and Central Maryland with a final report to distribute at the end of the series of roundtables. The purpose of the Project was to initiate a dialogue between all stakeholders and to develop strategies that promote Non-Emergency Medical Transportation in Maryland.

View recordings from all three meetings here.

What do you aspire for Rural Maryland?

The Rural Maryland Foundation recently funded an ad campaign, “What do you aspire for Rural Maryland?”  What are your aspirations?  Please take the survey.

View the most recent “We Are Rural Maryland” video here.

Statewide Broadband Assessment 

The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) tasked the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC) with mapping broadband service provider coverage in Maryland to better understand the availability of wireline broadband and asses the relationship of broadband access between rural and urban areas.

For this project, a census block is considered “unserved” or “underserved” if it is reported served by zero or one broadband service providers (BSP).  This project focuses on wireline broadband technology which includes DSL, Other Copper Wireline, Cable Modem, and Optical Carrier/Fiber to the End User. View a map of broadband access in each county in Maryland here. These maps do not include fixed wireless coverage. 

Map thumbnail

Click the map to see the RMC’s Statewide Broadband Assessment App, hosted by the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative.

Transfer of Wealth Study

The Rural Maryland Foundation has partnered with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to conduct a Transfer of Wealth Study (TOW) for Rural Maryland.

America’s communities are struggling to find the financial resources necessary to support community and economic development. Traditional sources such as government funding is stagnant or declining. In this environment, possibly the single largest underdeveloped resource is community-based philanthropy fueled by capturing some portion of the TOW opportunity.

TOW is an estimate of American household wealth from which charitable giving could be realized. The draft analysis and research yields a conservative estimate of TOW, discounting wealth that is unlikely to be available for charitable giving.

Learn more, including accessing recorded webinars and materials, on the Rural Maryland Foundation’s website here:

The Rural Maryland Foundation is currently conducting Phase II of the study to development philanthropic strategies in collaboration with community foundations and partners.

Please access meeting material here:

The Transfer of Wealth Advisory Committee recently met on June 28, 2022, to discuss the upcoming possible outcomes and goals regarding the Rural Maryland Philanthropic Development Strategy. Our guest speaker was Ms. Maggie Gunther Osborne, Maryland Philanthropy Network. View a recording of the meeting here.