Volume 25, Number 3
Priorities for USDA Rural Development (RD) Funding
USDA Rural Development provides assistance for housing programs, community programs, business programs, utility programs and cooperative programs. The programs consist of a variety of loan, loan guarantee and grant programs, plus technical assistance.
The 2014 priorities of USDA RD consists of projects associated with the following: Any Project that includes Organic, Bio or Bio Economy, Poverty Census Tracts, Great Region, Any SET Community, Rural philanthropy, (Any Community Foundation Project), Manufacturing Business, Food Hub, Local Food Project, Farmers Market, Farm to School Initiatives, Know your Farmer- Know your Food, Daycare and Broadband.
Projects related to the above may receive priority points toward the loan or grant. USDA RD provides loan funds for most projects that are associated with community and business development and loan and grant funds are available for water and waste projects also.
Consider One of the Following Community Programs:
Food Banks - Assists with building purchase, renovations, new construction, equipment, vehicles for food delivery
School Cafeterias - Assists with equipment, renovations, central processing or distribution centers
Farmers' Markets - Assists with new construction, building purchase, renovations (NOTE: Eligible markets must primarily sell agricultural products.)
Community Gardens - Assists with real estate purchase, infrastructure to connect to water and provide irrigation
Community Kitchens - Assists with renovations to owned facility, equipment used primarily for the community kitchen, new construction (NOTE: Community kitchens include those that provide classes on the preparation of healthy meals or prepare meals for community programs.)
Consider One of the Following Business Programs:
Value Added Producer Grant - audience is for producers, ag cooperatives, producer groups to complete planning activities (e.g., feasibility and business plans); working capital
Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant - for Cooperatives, associations of cooperatives for technical assistance
Rural Cooperative Development Grant - for Non-profits, higher education to establishment and operation of centers to assist individuals or entities in the startup, expansion or improvement of rural businesses, especially cooperatives
Intermediary Relending program - for public bodies, non-profits, cooperatives for revolving loan funds for community development projects and the establishment or expansion of businesses (NOTE: Ultimate borrowers must be located in communities of fewer than 25,000 people.)
Business & Industry Guaranteed Loans - for lenders for most legal business purposes, including acquisition, start-up, and expansion. Agriculture production is ineligible.
Rural Energy for America Program - for farmers, rural small businesses to purchase and installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements
Rural Business Opportunity Grant - for public bodies and non-profits that can provide training and technical assistance for business development, including support for processing, marketing and distribution
Rural Business Enterprise Grant - for public bodies and non-profits for development of infrastructure and facilities as well as revolving loan funds
For specific information on these funding programs contact your local USDA RD Office - click for Community Programs contacts and for Business Program contacts.
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