Grants aid rural economic development


WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman has announced the availability of $6 million in USDA Rural Development grant funds designed to support rural economic and community development efforts.

Opportunity. “Through the development of local financial and technical assistance programs supported by these grant funds, rural communities can increase their capacity to bring community and economic development opportunities to local residents,” said USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr.

USDA’s Rural Community Development Initiative provides funds to help nonprofit, community-based development organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes and low-income communities improve their ability to develop rural housing and community facilities and to improve economic growth.

Recipients were required to obtain matching funds, doubling the value of the USDA grants. Funding of selected applicants will be contingent upon meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.

Grant recipients will provide training and technical assistance to eligible nonprofit community-development organizations and low-income communities located in rural areas with populations of 50,000 or less.

Assistance. Technical assistance includes setting up homeownership education programs; supporting micro-enterprises, cooperatives and sustainable development; and providing training to develop strategic plans, hire staff and oversee board operations and management.

Detailed information about program requirements and information on how to apply are available in the July 30 Federal Register.

Learn more. Additional information on the grant program and other USDA Rural Development programs can be obtained by visiting


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