Nebraska cooperatives interested in providing technical assistance to small, socially disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas may apply for USDA Rural Development funding, according to Nebraska State Director, Maxine Moul. Funding will be made available through USDA Rural Development’s Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant program (SSPDG). The maximum grant award is $200,000.
“One of USDA Rural Development’s missions is to provide assistance that will increase the economic conditions of rural communities,” said Moul. “The SSPDG allows eligible cooperatives to apply in order to help small, socially disadvantaged agriculture producers in rural areas to improve their operations and promote job creation.”
Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers. The maximum award per grant is $200,000. The grant period is limited to one year. Small socially disadvantaged producers include farmers, ranchers, loggers, agricultural harvesters and fishermen who have averaged $250,000 or less in annual gross sales of agricultural products in the last three years and are members of a socially-disadvantaged group. Producers will be able to benefit from the grant through market research, trainings, legal advice and assistance, and business planning and feasibility studies development.
The application deadlines for the Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program are June 30, 2014 for paper applications and June 24, 2014 for electronic applications. For additional information on how to apply, see the April 30 Federal Register, page 24387, or visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_SSDPG.html.
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, business and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for business, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
For further information on the program contact Joan Scheel at 402-437-5594 at the USDA Rural Development State Office.