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06-28-13 USDA Invites Applications for Grants to Bring Improved Educational and Health Care Services to Rural Communities…

Posted by Brian Allmer on June 28, 2013

USDA Rural Development logoWASHINGTON, June 28, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is accepting applications for grants to provide access to education, training and healthcare resources in rural areas. Funding is authorized through the Department’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program.  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.

“With access to the latest technology, America’s rural citizens can compete in today’s global economy,” Vilsack said. “These Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants will modernize equipment and improve healthcare services and educational opportunities for residents in remote areas. They will help generate jobs in small towns and revitalize rural economies.”

Under this notice, USDA may provide up to $17.5 million in grants. Funds can be used to buy equipment and provide technical assistance. To be eligible, applicants must serve a rural area, demonstrate economic need and provide at least 15 percent in matching funds. Awards range up to $500,000.  In 2012, USDA Rural Development provided 58 DLT grants for projects in 36 states. Since the program began, 1,400 projects have been funded. Completed applications must be received by August 12, 2013. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see the notice published on page 38915 of the June 28, 2013 Federal Register:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-06-28/html/2013-15597.htm .

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.

 

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