Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is accepting applications for grants to help rural cooperatives develop new markets for their products and services. USDA is making the grants available to non-profit corporations and institutions of higher education through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program.
"Cooperative organizations are important catalysts for economic growth and job creation in rural America," Vilsack said. "The lack of investment capital is often the key factor holding many rural areas back from economic prosperity. The investments that USDA is making available will help organizations start cooperatives, expand existing ones, boost sales and marketing opportunities, and help develop business opportunities in rural areas."
USDA's Rural Cooperative Development Grant program improves economic conditions in rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve the operations of rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through cooperative development centers. Other eligible grant activities may include conducting feasibility studies and creating business plans.
USDA is making up to $5.8 million in grants available in Fiscal Year 2015. One-year grants up to $200,000 are available. In most cases, grants may be used to pay for up to 75 percent of a project's total costs. Recipients are required to match 25 percent of the award amount. The grants will be awarded prior to September 30, 2015. The recipients will have one year to utilize the awarded funds.
The application deadline is July 30, 2015. For additional information, see Page 34129 of the June 15, 2015 Federal Register or contact the USDA Rural Development State Office.
President Obama's historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his 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.