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USDA Announces $200,000 Grant for MSU to Boost Rural Economic Development

Alec Lloyd
East Lansing
Release Date

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner today announced a $200,000 grant for Michigan State University through the department’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant program.

“We have a strong partnership with Michigan State and are proud to work with the university to strengthen rural cooperatives and businesses,” Turner said.

MSU was one of 43 organizations in 27 states to receive grants and loans to help create jobs and boost economic development activity in rural areas.  The university will use the funds to provide technical assistance to 15 cooperatives and help incorporate two cooperatives.

The funding is being provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack earlier announced $5.8 million in RCDG awards to 32 recipients.  Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

Rural Cooperative Development Grants are being awarded to non-profit groups and higher education institutions.  The recipients will use the funds to operate centers to develop or expand rural businesses, especially cooperatives and mutually-owned businesses.  The funding can be used to conduct feasibility studies, create and implement business plans, offer technical assistance, establish low-interest loans, and help rural businesses develop new markets for their products and services.

RCDG recipients include several who are developing new opportunities for rural farmers and ranchers by capitalizing on the fast-growing market for locally produced food.

President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger.  Under his 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.