Rural Development


Millions Now Available for Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Development

October 6, 2015

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), a farm bill energy title program, is open for applicants at any time, but application cut-off dates are announced annually. For fiscal year (FY) 2016, the dates range from November 2, 2015 to May 2, 2016, and in limited cases into the summer of 2016, as detailed below […]

New USDA Awards to Build Local Food Systems and Food Security

October 2, 2015

On October 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced nearly $35 million in awards from three grant programs to support local and regional food systems, enhance the effectiveness of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) operations at farmers markets, and improve marketing opportunities for farms through state-based research and innovation. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack made […]

Rural Businesses Get $20 Million Boost in USDA funding

October 1, 2015

On Tuesday, September 28th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced close to $20 million in grants from the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Program to support the start-up or expansion of rural small businesses. The program provides competitive grants to governmental entities, Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations for planning, technical assistance, job training, and […]

New Initiative to Fight Rural Child Poverty

September 28, 2015

As a follow-up to recent announcements by the White House on efforts to combat rural child poverty, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week announced the selection of ten communities for the Rural Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive (Rural IMPACT) Demonstration project. […]

Treasury Awards Announced to Help with Farm and Food Business Financing

September 18, 2015

Last week the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund announced its latest round of awards for three programs: the CDFI Program, the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program, and the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI). The $224 million awarded to the 206 CDFIs around the country invests in and builds the capacity […]

USDA Awards $4 Million for Rural Development Projects Including Local Food Hubs

July 30, 2015

On Wednesday, July 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $4 million across 71 projects through the Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG) progarm. The program provides competitive grants to governmental entities, Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations for planning, technical assistance, job training, and acquisition of land, capital, equipment and other business development needs. Food […]

Food Hub Report Series Launched by USDA

July 17, 2015

Filling a gap in information on operations and best practices from food hubs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development mission area launched a new technical report series called Running a Food Hub with the first report, Running a Food Hub: Lessons Learned from the Field, Vol. One (hereafter Lessons Learned) on July 15. Yesterday’s release of […]

Study Aims to Help Food Hubs Become More Profitable

July 15, 2015

To help regional food hubs to grow, it’s important to have data for baseline performance measures – data that can help assess successes, needs, and opportunities. A new report on food hubs released yesterday, July 14, 2015, provides just such data. COUNTING VALUES: Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study draws on 2013 data from 48 diverse and […]

USDA Compass Tool Highlights Local Food Programs

July 1, 2015

Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has focused in a consistent and substantive way on investments in local and regional food systems. Its innovative online tool — appropriately named the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Map” — allows organizations and individuals to search an online database and map to […]

Technical Assistance Available for Community Development and Local Food Systems

July 1, 2015

Local Foods, Local Places 2015 The Local Foods, Local Places Initiative is once again accepting applications from communities seeking technical assistance to integrate local food systems into community economic action plans. Announced on June 30, 2015, the Initiative’s request for applications represents the second time that communities around the U.S. (including neighborhoods or main street […]

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