Funding to create rural jobs and economic opportunities

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Farm Forum

WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the selection of 48 community-based organizations in 26 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for grants to promote economic growth, support rural business development and create jobs.

“These grants will bring increased economic opportunities to rural residents and communities by strengthening the capacity of regional organizations to help small and emerging businesses,” Vilsack said. “They also will help organizations experienced in economic development create more job opportunities for rural residents across the country.”

USDA is making the investments through the Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI). It helps community-based development organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes and other groups promote economic growth in low-income, rural communities. Recipients are required to obtain matching funds, which increase the value of the grants. USDA does not provide the grants directly to businesses or individuals. Instead, the Agency awards the money to public or non-profit intermediaries. Much of the RCDI funding is regional in nature and underscores USDA’s support of locally-based development strategies.

Here are some ways these grants will help rural communities. In Sisseton, S.D., Northeast South Dakota Community Action Program will use $152,492 grant to provide technical assistance to recipients and provide new and expanded knowledge to them in the areas of housing, community facilities, and economic development activities.

GROW South Dakota located in Sisseton, S.D., will receive a $152,492 grant to provide technical assistance to recipients to provide expanded economic development to build and partner on the capacity of Native home ownership.

Under the announcement, USDA is providing $6.7 million to strengthen local and regional economic development enterprises. Funding for recipients is contingent upon the grantee meeting the terms of the grant agreement.