U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that USDA is accepting applications for technical assistance grants to help rural businesses market value-added agricultural products.
The grants must be used to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers. The funds may be used to provide legal, accounting and other consulting services; hire employees to establish and operate the Centers; or make individual grants to agricultural producers. Eligible applicants include nonprofit and for-profit corporations, public bodies and institutions of higher education. Recipients must provide matching funds of least one-third of the total project budget.
USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:
- Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
- Developing the Rural Economy
- Harnessing Technical Innovation
- Supporting a Rural Workforce
- Improving Quality of Life
The deadline to submit applications is March 20, 2020. For additional information, see page 55274 of the Oct. 16, 2019, Federal Register. In Nebraska contact Business Programs Director Joan Scheel at 402-437-5594 for additional information.