The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. We align ourselves with our customers as partners to assist them in achieving their needs and goals to improve their quality of life in rural America.
"These grants will help socially-disadvantaged business owners develop the tools and skills they need to grow their enterprises and succeed at creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities in rural areas," Vilsack said. "American agriculture is becoming increasingly diverse in many ways, with more minorities and women seeking to enter the field, as well as greater diversity in the age of farmers, the size of operations, in production methods, and in the types of crops being grown. All of these forms of diversity help strengthen U.S. agriculture for the future."
Funding will be made available through USDA's Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant Program (formerly the Small, Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program), which assists organizations that provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance are conducting feasibility studies, developing business and strategic plans, and providing leadership training.
The maximum award under this notice is $175,000. More information on how to apply can be found on page 28937 of the May 20 Federal Register (see attached NOFA). Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by July 20, 2015 (see application template and checklist). Electronic applications must be submitted at www.grants.gov no later than midnight Eastern Time July 14, 2015.
Eligible applicants include groups of cooperatives, cooperative development centers and individual cooperatives that serve socially-disadvantaged groups. The cooperatives or centers can be located in any area, but the groups assisted must be located in an eligible rural area. Also, the majority of the governing body of the organization must be compromised of individuals who are members of socially-disadvantaged groups.
USDA Rural Development is encouraging applications for projects in census tracts with poverty rates of 20 percent or higher. All grants are awarded through a national competition.
If you have any questions feel free to call our office.
With kindest regards,
LaTasha Thomas Pace|Area Specialist
United States Department of Agriculture
2629 Waverly Barn Road, Suite 129 | Davenport, Fl 33897
Phone: (863) 420-4833; ext. 104| Fax: (855) 474-8230
www.rd.usda.gov/fl | “Committed to the future of rural communities”
Stay Connected with USDA:
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.