USDA Seeks Applications to Expand Economic Development in Rural Communities

Kelly Edwards
Stevens Point
Release Date
May 15, 2015

   Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Lisa Mensah today announced that USDA Rural Development is seeking applications for grants to support rural community economic development.

   “This funding from USDA will ensure that training is available for those who wish to improve the quality of life in rural communities,” Mensah said. “Very often, great visions for better rural communities exist, but the next steps toward positive change are unclear. These grants will help rural communities build a path to community economic development so rural America can share in the nation’s economic recovery.”

   Approximately $4 million is being made available under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program. Eligible applicants include public or private intermediaries, non-profit organizations and nationally recognized tribal organizations.

   RCDI grants can be used to provide training or technical assistance. Training may be focused on homeownership education, minority business entrepreneurship, strategic community planning or accessing alternative funding sources. Grants range from $50,000 to $250,000.

   This program continues to benefit rural communities and organizations. Since 2009 it has invested more than $35.2 million through the RCDI program.

   For information on how to apply for RCDI grants, contact the Wisconsin USDA Rural Development State Office at 715-345-7610 or, or see Page 27887 of the 5/15 Federal Register.

   USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As the lead federal agency for rural development needs, USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the lives of people in rural areas and the economic health of rural communities. During the last year, the agency has assisted nearly 9,000 families and businesses in more than 100 communities, investing more than $571 million into rural Wisconsin through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.  Further information on USDA Rural Development programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting the web site at