Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is seeking applications from cooperatives to provide technical assistance to small, socially disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“These grants will jump start small business hiring and help producers in areas facing economic challenges get the tools they need to succeed,” Vilsack said. “Small businesses are the engines of job growth and innovation in America.”
Funding will be made available through USDA Rural Development’s Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant program (SSDPG). The maximum grant award is $200,000.
The application deadline for Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grants is July 15, 2013 for paper applications and July 10, 2013 for electronic applications. For additional information on how to apply, see the June 12 Federal Register, page 35239, or visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_SSDPG.html.