The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for grants to support technical assistance for socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers and rural business owners.
Up to $3 million will be awarded nationwide this year through the Socially-Disadvantaged Group Grant Program. The maximum amount an individual applicant may receive is $175,000.
The grants are not provided directly to businesses or individuals. Instead, qualified organizations receiving these grants will provide technical assistance and training to socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers or rural businesses. The technical assistance may include leadership training and support developing feasibility studies, business plans, and strategic plans.
Cooperatives, groups of cooperatives, and cooperative development centers that serve socially-disadvantaged groups and where a majority of their board of directors or governing board is comprised of members of a disadvantaged group are eligible to apply. USDA defines a socially-disadvantaged group as one whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as a member of that group without regard to their individual qualities. Applicants may be based in any area, but the groups they serve must be located in an eligible rural area.
These grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov by 8:59 pm. Pacific Time on August 9, 2021.
To discuss a potential application or learn more about the program, contact Mandie Cole, Business and Cooperative Programs Director, (541) 378-3538. Additional information is also available on page 32882 of the June 23, 2021, Federal Register.