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USDA Invites Applications for Funding to Support Rural Economic Development Planning

Jessie Huff
Release Date

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that USDA is seeking applications to provide cooperative agreement funding through the Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI) initiative.

The REDI initiative offers an opportunity for eligible partners to expand capacity for small and rural towns to harness regional assets, create economic development plans, and implement those plans. USDA plans to award up to $750,000 in competitive cooperative agreement funds in Fiscal Year 2018.

Eligible applicants must demonstrate a national structure and/or capacity to deliver and support multiple rural planning activities across the country. Additionally, eligible organizations must meet a matching fund requirement that is at least equal to the amount of the cooperative agreement award.

This funding opportunity will be administered by USDA’s Rural Development Innovation Center.

Applications must be submitted September 5, 2018. Applicants who have been selected for funding will receive a letter of official notification and will be awarded a cooperative agreement authorized under 7 USC 2204b(b)(4).

Applicants should plan their projects based on a start date of Sept. 30, 2018. Projects must be completed within 24 months.

For additional details, please see page 41046 of the Aug. 17 Federal Register.

USDA encourages application submissions 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) to help improve life in rural America. Applicants are also 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 technological innovation

· Supporting a rural workforce

· Improving quality of life