USDA Seeks Applications to Expand Economic Development in Rural Communities

Gayle Aubrey
Release Date
May 26, 2015

Agriculture Under Secretary Lisa Mensah has announced USDA is seeking applications for grants to support rural community economic development.

"This funding from USDA will ensure that technical and financial assistance 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."

"The missions of many rural nonprofits benefit greatly from capitol and technical assistance the Rural Community Development Initiative Grant can provide," said USDA Rural Development Texas State Director Paco Valentin. "This funding provides rural community leaders with the necessary tools to carry out housing, community facility and community and economic development projects."

Approximately $10.4 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.

RCDI grants can be used to provide training or technical assistance. Training may be 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.

For information on how to apply contact your Rural Development state office or see Page 27887 of the 5/15 Federal Register ( Applications must be submitted by August 13, 2015. Applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development Texas State Office, 101 South Main Street, Suite 102, Temple, Texas 76501.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's 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.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. For information on this and other USDA Rural Development programs in Texas, visit