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USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Socially Disadvantaged Agricultural Producers and Business Owners in Rural Areas

Brent Wucher
Amherst, MA
Release Date

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that the Department is accepting applications for grants to support technical assistance for socially disadvantaged agricultural producers and rural business owners. USDA is making available up to $3 million in Fiscal Year 2023 through the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant Program. The maximum amount an individual applicant may receive is $175,000. The Department is making the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grants available to organizations that will provide any technical assistance for the development of cooperatives or the formation of new cooperatives. Technical assistance includes leadership training, and developing feasibility studies, business plans and/or strategic plans. The grants are not provided directly to businesses or individuals. USDA defines a socially disadvantaged group as one whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as a member of that group without regard to their individual qualities. Applicants may be based in any area, but the groups they serve must be located in an eligible rural area. The Department is offering priority points to projects that advance key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to create more and better market opportunities and improved infrastructure, advance equity and combat climate change. These extra points will increase the likelihood of funding for projects seeking to address these critical challenges in rural America. USDA encourages applicants to contact the USDA RD State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss the project and ask any questions about the application process. For additional information, see page 16404 of the March 17, 2023, Federal Register. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page. # USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender