ALBUQUERQUE ― USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner announces the availability of grant funds to provide technical assistance to rural ag producers from socially-disadvantaged groups that have experienced race, ethnic or gender prejudice.
“These grants will help women, Hispanic, African-American and other farmers and ranchers obtain the tools and develop the skills they need to increase their productivity and the viability of their business in New Mexico’s rural areas,” Brunner said.
Funding is made available through USDA-Rural Development’s Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant Program (formerly the Small, Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program), which provides funds to organizations that provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. A socially-disadvantaged group is one whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice. Examples of technical assistance include conducting feasibility studies, developing business and strategic plans, and providing leadership training.
USDA is making up to $3 million available nationwide. The maximum award under the program’s notice is $175,000. The grant notice is available here.
Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by July 20, 2015. 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 applicants can be headquartered in any area, but the groups assisted must be located in an eligible rural area. Also, the majority of the governing body of the applicant must be comprised of individuals who are members of socially-disadvantaged groups.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at any local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s website.
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, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way―strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.