U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced last week that USDA is accepting Fiscal Year 2020 applications for grants to help strengthen the rural economy.
USDA is making grants available under the Rural Community Development Initiative program for qualified intermediaries to provide assistance to help improve housing and community facilities, and to implement community and economic development projects in rural areas.
Electronic applications must be submitted to grants.gov by May 13, 2020, at midnight EST. Paper applications must be submitted to the applicant’s USDA Rural Development state office by May 18, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. local time. Additional information is available on page 12761 of the March 4, 2020, Federal Register.
USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB) to help improve the quality of life in rural America. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:
- Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
- Developing the Rural Economy
- Harnessing Technological Innovation
- Supporting a Rural Workforce
- Improving Quality of Life
USDA also encourages applications that will support the Administration’s goal to combat substance use disorder, including opioid misuse, in high-risk rural communities by strengthening the capacity to address prevention, treatment and/or recovery.