Upcoming USDA Rural Development Grant Deadline Opportunities and Deadlines!

The United States Department of Agriculture reminds farmers and producers, small businesses, and non-profit organizations that grant deadlines are fast approaching.  The Rural Energy for America Program closes April 30th.  The Rural Business Development Grant program closes May 1st.  In addition, the agency expects a Value Added Producer Grant solicitation to be published in April with a 60 day application window.


Rural Energy for America Program Deadline April 30th:  The Agricultural Act of 2014 boosted the Rural Energy for America Program in two important ways – it reduced the amount of paperwork required and it increased the amount of funding for the program.  The program helps offset the cost of renewable energy installations or energy efficiency improvements by providing farmers with a 25 percent grant (maximum of $500,000).  Applicants seeking less than $200,000 will benefit from a provision of the Farm Bill that will reduce the amount of paperwork.  Applicants seeking less than $20,000 should apply immediately, as there is a special set aside for small grants. Please contact Ken Yearman at (802) 828-6070 or kenneth.yearman@vt.usda.gov. More information about the program can also be found online at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-energy-audit-renewable-energy-development-assistance.

Rural Business Development Grant Program Deadline May 1st: Non-profit organizations and municipalities can apply for Rural Business Development Grants to spur job creation in a variety of ways.  The funds are extremely flexible, and can be used to acquire or develop land, buildings, plants and equipment; build or improve access roads, parking areas, utility extensions, and water and waste disposal facilities; provide technical assistance; establish revolving loan funds; and to support rural distance learning programs that provide educational or job training. For more information or to apply contact Susi Poland at (802) 828-6002 or susan.poland@vt.usda.gov.  Visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants/vt to view application materials, program information and a list of previously funded projects.

Value Added Producer Grant Program Solicitation Anticipated In April:  The Value Added Producer Grant Program provides grants of up to $200,000 to help farmers turn their raw commodity into a value added product. The funds can be used to undertake feasibility studies or for working capital to turn an idea into reality.  If you have an idea, please call Susi Poland at (802) 828-6002 or susan.poland@vt.usda.gov to develop that idea into a grant application before the growing season starts. More information about the program can also be found online at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/value-added-producer-grants.

For more information about these grant programs, or any of the other 40 programs aimed at helping to grow jobs and create thriving rural communities in Vermont, visit www.rd.usda.gov/vt.