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USDA grant applications to help rural cooperatives due July 22

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By The Staff

USDA seeks applications for grants to help rural cooperatives and businesses create jobs
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is accepting applications for grants to help rural businesses create jobs through cooperative development centers. Under the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program, grants of up to $225,000 may be awarded to colleges, universities and non-profit groups to create and operate centers that help individuals or groups establish, expand or operate rural businesses, especially cooperatives. Grants may be used to conduct feasibility studies, create and implement business plans, and help businesses develop new markets for their products and services.
Rural Development State Director Tom Fern said the agency awarded $225,000 in RCDG funds to the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development last year. Through this notice, USDA may award up to $7.4 million in grants. Funds may finance up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing and operating the cooperative centers. Recipients must match 25 percent of the total project cost. Applications are due July 22. For more information, visit the Federal Register at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-07/pdf/2011-13927.pdf.