USDA Seeks Applications to Expand Economic Development in Rural Communities

Jessica Bowser
Release Date
May 22, 2015

USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark announced that USDA is seeking applications for grants to support rural community economic development.

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

“USDA supports regional projects that build the capacity of rural Kansas communities, and help spur community and economic development,” said Clark.  “Through the RCDI program, USDA can provide technical assistance to rural communities to build resilient rural regions in Kansas.”

RCDI grants can be used to provide training or technical assistance. Training may focus on homeownership education, minority business entrepreneurship, strategic community planning or accessing alternative funding sources. Intermediary organizations must provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. Grants range from $50,000 to $250,000.

USDA has invested more than $33 million through the RCDI program since 2009. In 2011, The Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship received a $200,000 grant for technical assistance and training to assist Marion, Wichita, Greenwood, Greeley, Chase, and Norton counties.  The assistance included community and entrepreneur coaching, succession planning for businesses, and the education and recruitment of potential angel investors.  The technical assistance helped to create new leadership capacity, capital creation, and increased connectivity to local, regional, state, and national resources.              

For information on how to apply, contact USDA Rural Development Community Programs Specialist in Kansas, Janette Womack at (785) 271-2742 or  Applications must be submitted by August 13, 2015.