USDA Seeks Applications to Expand Economic Development in Rural Communities

Erin McDuff
Release Date
Jun 05, 2015

Agriculture Under Secretary Lisa Mensah announced that USDA Rural Development 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 nationwide under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program. Eligible applicants include public, private, and nonprofit intermediaries, as well as federally recognized tribes.

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. Intermediary organizations must provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. USDA has invested more than $33 million through the RCDI program since 2009. Grants range from $50,000 to $250,000.

For more details about the RCDI funding, see page 27887 of the May 22, 2015, Federal Register. Applications must be submitted by 4:00 pm on August 13, 2015. In Oregon, paper applications should be submitted to the following address:

          USDA Rural Development
          ATTN: Community Programs
          1201 NE Lloyd Blvd
          Suite 801
          Portland, OR 97232

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.