USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Provide

TEMPLE, May 1, 2014 – USDA Rural Development Texas State Director Paco Valentin today announced that grant applications are being accepted from qualified non-profit organizations and institutions of higher learning to help rural cooperatives develop new markets for their products and services.

“USDA Rural Development’s mission is to provide assistance that will increase the economic conditions of rural communities,” said Valentin.  “These funds will promote start up, expansion and operational improvements as cooperatives work to grow and strengthen their businesses and provide sustainable, well-paying jobs to rural residents.”

USDA is offering Rural Cooperative Development Grants (RCDG) to non-profit corporations and institutions of higher education. The grants may be used to conduct feasibility studies, create business plans, help rural cooperatives develop markets and provide training for cooperative leadership. Grants are awarded competitively on an annual basis to Rural Cooperative Development Centers, which in turn provide technical assistance to individuals and cooperatives.

Through this notice, USDA may award up to $5.8 million in grants. The deadline for paper applications is June 30, 2014.  Electronic copies are due June 24, 2014. For information on how to apply, see page 24380 of the April 30, 2014 Federal Register, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-04-30/pdf/2014-09869.pdf or contact the USDA Rural Development Texas State Office at (254) 742-9780.

Individual grants of up to $200,000 are available with matching funds required. Grants may be used to pay for up to 75 percent (95 percent when the applicant is a 1994 Land Grant Institution) of the project's cost. Recipients are required to match 25 percent (5 percent for 1994 Land Grant Institutions) of the award amount.  The grant period is limited to a one-year timeframe.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
    
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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