USDA Seeks Applications to Expand Economic Development in Rural Communities

Katherine Belcher
Release Date
May 15, 2015

Agriculture Under Secretary Lisa Mensah today announced that 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."

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.

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.

USDA has invested more than $33 million through the RCDI program since 2009. In 2013, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma received a $150,000 grant to provide home buying and home maintenance education to 50 Native American women in the community of Broken Bow.

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.

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.