Friday, October 5, 2012

USDA Weekly Grants & Opportunities Announcement

See below for some interesting publications, training and funding opportunities ranging from teacher and youth scholar recognition to housing and economic development issues.


From: Agans, Suzette - RD, Washington, DC []
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2012 9:00 AM
Subject: Publications, Tools, Learning, and Funding




Corporations and Communities: What Do They Owe Each Other?

Tax breaks, cheap energy, and investments in infrastructure are among the subsidies often requested of local communities by companies searching for locations for their operations. Edward Alden asks what companies owe in return. Recent high-profile news reports of companies such as Boeing and Microsoft reneging on promises and generally behaving badly towards the communities they sought special treatment from have highlighted the "growing power imbalance between corporations and governments." In the first of a series of posts on the topic, Alden asks if anything can be done to change this imbalance.


Kansas Beckons Natives Home with Breaks - Aug 23, 2012 -- Daily Yonder article tells how Kansas state and county governments are attempting to lure residents back to small towns with tax breaks, land offers, and major help repaying student loans.


American Community Survey and Rural Data Analysis - Discusses the American Community Survey and the challenges of that data source to understand conditions and trends in rural America.
Organization: Rural Policy Research Institute. Date: 08 / 2012


Creating Rural Wealth: A New Lens for Rural Development Efforts - Highlights from a review of research related to rural wealth creation identifying how a wealth creation perspective can inform and improve the efforts of rural communities and others seeking to promote sustainable rural prosperity. Organization: USDA Economic Research Service
Date: 09 / 2012.  Journal: Amber Waves Volume: 10 Issue: 3


Distribution of Federal Economic Development Grants to Communities with High Rates of Poverty and Unemployment
Provides data that show the distribution of community and economic development grant funds to cities and rural counties with high rates of poverty and unemployment.
Organization: Government Accountability Office. Date: 09 / 2012


Household Income for States: 2010 and 2011: American Community Survey Briefs - Presents data on median household income at the national and state levels based on the 2010 and 2011 American Community Survey. Organization: U.S. Census Bureau. Date: 09 / 2012


Over Sixteen Million Children in Poverty in 2011 - Uses American Community Survey data released on September 20, 2012 to address patterns of child poverty in rural and low-income households.
Organization: Carsey Institute. Date: 09 / 2012


Housing for Rural Veterans - Special issue of Rural Voices highlighting the innovative and proactive approaches to provide housing options for rural veterans.
Organization: Housing Assistance Council. Date: 09 / 2012. Journal: Rural Voices Volume: 17 Issue: 2


The USDA Economic Research Service reports that unemployment for Veterans is higher in nonmetro counties. Between 2006 and 2010, an estimated 6.6 percent of the Veteran population was unemployed. On average, counties in the South and the West had the highest rates (6.7 percent). The average for nonmetro counties (6.7 percent) was higher than the average for metro counties (6.4 percent). Overall, nonmetro counties in the South had the highest average Veteran unemployment rate (7.0 percent). View a map of this data in the Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America on the ERS website by clicking here.


Top 20 "Culture" Small Towns, October 2, 2012

Smithsonian Magazine released it list of the Top 20 Small Towns in America, as they relate to culture. The search looked for a high concentration of museums, historic sites, botanic gardens, resident orchestras, art galleries and other cultural assets common to big cities, but focused on towns with populations less than 25,000.   Listed below are the top.  Click the link to see the rest,

  1. Great Barrington, MA
  2. Taos, NM
  3. Red Bank, NJ
  4. Mill Valley, CA
  5. Gig Harbor, WA




A Search Engine for Landscapes -

A new program developed by University of Cincinnati Professor Tomasz Stepinski allows users to find sections of the American landscape with similar land coverage or ecological patterns. The Atlantic Cities' Nate Berg reports, "LandEx


is a sort of search engine for maps that can scan through and identify places in the U.S. that have a similar land coverage or ecological patterns...the program classifies satellite imagery of the earth's surface into 16 different land cover types – from scrub to pasture to deciduous forest to high intensity development. The map enables users to select a small area, about two miles wide, and then searches the rest of the country for places with similar conditions."


·         Webinar: GuideStar is offering a free webinar titled “More Money for More Good: Three Steps to Help Nonprofits Fundraise” on October 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM ET. To learn more and to register, click here.

·         Webinar: Trends in US Farmland Values and Ownership, October 10, 2012 (Wednesday) 1:00 PM – Eastern Time -

Because farm real estate represents much of the value of U.S. farm sector assets, large swings in farmland values can affect the financial well-being of agricultural producers. This report examines both macroeconomic (interest rates, prices of alternative investments) and parcel-specific (soil quality, government payments, proximity to urban areas) factors that affect farmland values. In the last few years, U.S. farmland values have been supported by strong farm earnings, which have helped the farm sector in many regions to withstand the residential housing downturn. Historically low interest rates are likely a significant contributor to farming’s current ability to support higher land values. About 40 percent of U.S. farmland has been rented over the last 25 years. Non-operators (landowners who do not themselves farm) owned 29 percent of land in farms in 2007, though that proportion has declined since 1992.

About the Speakers:

Todd Kuethe is an economist with the Farm and Rural Business Branch in the Resource and Rural Economics Division of the USDA Economic Research Service. Todd conducts research on land values and farm management. Todd holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, an M.S. in Agribusiness Economics from Southern Illinois University, and a B.S. in Economics from Saint Louis University, John Cook School of Business.

Jennifer Ifft is an economist with the Farm and Rural Business Branch in the Resource and Rural Economics Division of the USDA Economic Research Service. Jenny conducts research on farmland values and use, and is responsible for the USDA farm business income forecasts. Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California Berkeley, a M.Phil. in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge and a B.S. in International, Resource and Consumer Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Registration: There is no registration and no fee for attending this webinar. For a “Sneak Peek” of the webinar go to:

To join the webinar go to, “enter as a guest” is by default already chosen. Type your name into the text box provided, and click on “Enter Room”. You are now in the meeting room for the webinar.

·         Webinar: NeighborWorks America and Urban Food Link are co-hosting a webinar to discuss the relationships among food security, economic investment and stable communities on October 11, 2012. Discussion will include a more integrated approach to closing the food access gap. Click here to learn more and to register.

·         RURAL GATEWAY PEER-TO-PEER CONFERENCE CALL, Housing and Transportation in Rural America: A Discussion of Best Practices - October 11, 2012, 2:00 p.m. EST
Leaders of Rural America organizations will share their knowledge of successfully implementing housing and transportation activities that have expanded and created opportunities for those living in Rural America.  Various organizations will have an opportunity to discuss and share issues related to housing, transportation and economic development and the impact on Rural America.  Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about best practices, discuss the challenges of improving housing and transportation, and economic development activities within rural communities, and establish contacts for future reference.

Join HUD’s Office of Rural Housing and Economic Development (ORHED) and HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities as we engage rural community leaders in this open forum on the perspective of improving housing and transportation as it pertains to economic development.  Speakers will include
Shelley Poticha, Director, Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities; Megan McConville, Policy and Planning Fellow, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Lilly Shoup, Policy Analyst, U.S. Department of Transportation; and Kate Somers, Program Manager, Randolph County Housing Authority in West Virginia.

Topics to be discussed
·         The types of housing, transportation and economic development activities developed and implemented
·         Performance outcomes of the housing, transportation, and economic development activities
·         Public and Private sources of funding to carry out projects
·         Best practices and lessons-learned

Format of the call:  Call-in instructions and additional materials will be emailed to participants on October 10, 2012.  The call will consist of a 60 minute presentation by our speakers, followed by a Q&A session. Please RSVP by email to no later than close of business on October 10, 2012.  Please include your name and organization.
If you have any questions, please call 1-877-RURAL-26 (1-877-787-2526).

·  Webinar: Grant Writing Tips & Techniques: Understanding the 2013 NACA, Thursday, October 11, 2012, Time:      1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT

First Nations Oweesta is pleased to have Lisa Wagner facilitating this 90 minute  introductory webinar which will help organizations determine strategies to get ready for the 2013 NACA. The webinar will focus on areas such as developing your CDFI story, creating a high impact narrative and writing your technical assistance proposal. This webinar will share successful  tips & techniques used by CDFIs who were awarded grants and we will also share lessons learned from CDFIs who were not funded. We are asking for early registration so that we may contact participants prior to the webinar to ensure we cover topics that are needed and wanted in communities.

Registration -

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

·         Webinar: Putting USDA Rural Development Resources to Work Building Wealth for Communities and will feature stories from several WCRL members. Note that it will be Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 1 pm ET, 12 pm CT.  Watch the Community's College Webinars page for the profile and registration info soon.




Office on Violence Against Women Consolidated Youth Services - Letter of Intent (Optional): Oct 3, 2012, Application deadline: Oct 24, 2012
Funding for comprehensive child- and youth-centered prevention and intervention programs that address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.


NBCC Foundation Rural and Military Scholarship Programs - Application deadline: Nov 1, 2012
Scholarships to increase the availability of counselors in underserved areas, with the current priority areas of rural and military communities.


Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants - Geographic Coverage: Limited to certain areas of 35 states and U.S. territories, see sponsor's website for more details.  Application deadline: Feb 16, 2013. Supports local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment.


Stand Down Grant Award - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Funding for events that assist homeless veterans.


USDA Rural Housing Direct Loan Program Section 502 - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Offers loans to low- or very low-income individuals or households to purchase, repair, or renovate homes in rural areas.


USDA Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Provides loans and grants to very low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their dwellings or to remove health and safety hazards.


USDA Single Family Housing Rural Guaranteed Housing Loans Section 502 - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Offers loans to assist low to moderate income homebuyers to purchase, construct, or rehabilitate homes in rural areas.


THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION is offering funds to nonprofit and public agencies for projects that improve the health of middle school and high school young men of color, as well as their opportunities for success in school, work and life. Deadline to apply: 10/10/2012. Get an application here.


HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION is offering grants to support the housing needs of military Veterans. Grants of up to $5,000 in the form of Home Depot gift cards will be awarded to volunteer-driven projects designed to help Veterans stay in their homes comfortably. Deadline to apply: 10/12/2012. To get an application, click here.  


THE RURAL HEALTH NETWORK DEVELOPMENT PLANNING PROGRAM is offering grant funds to rural nonprofits that represent a consortium/network of three or more health care providers. Deadline to apply: 10/15/2012. Eligible Applicants are Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized); Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments) and nonprofits.  For more information and to apply, click here.


THE J.R. ALBERT FOUNDATION, INC. is accepting grant applications from nonprofits working in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri or Kansas to educate at-risk populations on nutritional practices and wellness, especially with education programs aimed at children and youth.  Decisions will be made in October. Deadline to apply: Letter of Intent by 10/15/2012; applications by 1/31/2013. To learn more about the Foundation and to apply, click here.  


THE DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS CHARITABLE SERVICE TRUST is offering grants to nonprofit organizations that provide long-term programs offering direct assistance to sick and injured Veterans and their families. The Trust’s priorities include: making sure these veterans have transportation to VA medical facilities for treatment; supporting physical and psychological rehabilitation projects aimed at the most profoundly injured Veterans; meeting the special needs of Veterans with specific disabilities such as amputation or brain injuries; providing food, shelter and medical aid to homeless and needy Veterans. Deadline: 10/20/2012. Application guidelines and forms may be downloaded from the Trust’s website here.


THE ENDANGERED LANGUAGE FUND will distribute grants through the Native Voices Endowment: A Lewis & Clark Expedition Bicentennial Legacy for work on the documentation and revitalization of the languages of Indian tribes that came in contact with the Lewis and Clark Expedition between 1803-1806. Deadline to apply: 10/31/2012. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.  


THE FOUNDATION FOR RURAL EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT is offering grants to nonprofits through its Technology Grants for Rural Schools Program to promote activities that improve rural educational, social, and economic conditions. Grants of $1,000 to $5,000 help public schools in rural areas bring modern computers to every classroom, connect schools to the information superhighway, and assure that effective software and online resources are an integral part of the school curriculum. A letter of support from the local company must accompany all applications. Deadline to apply: 11/1/2012. For application guidelines and eligibility, click here.


THE COMMUNITY CATALYST FUND has grants available to groups working to improve local environmental sustainability and energy efficiency in New York, New Jersey and the six New England states. Deadline to apply: 11/1/2012. For eligibility requirements and application details, click here.


THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE is offering grant support for the development of domestic and migrant farm labor housing projects. Supported organizations will provide technical assistance to groups who qualify for farm labor housing loans and grants. Deadline to apply: 11/5/2012. For an application, click here.


THE LAURA JANE MUSSER FUND is offering grants for programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wyoming for projects in rural communities that will help to strengthen towns and regions in a number of areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Deadline to apply: 11/7/2012. For an application and more information about this Fund, click here.  


THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY is offering grant support to nonprofits to provide technical assistance to communities on brownfields issues. This assistance will help communities tackle the challenge of assessing, cleaning up, and preparing brownfields sites for redevelopment, especially underserved, rural, small and otherwise distressed communities. Deadline: 11/14/2012. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.


THE NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION is accepting applications for Youth Garden Grant Awards. Schools and community groups in the United States planning to garden with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18 are invited to apply for Home Depot gift cards of up to $1,000 to purchase gardening supplies. Deadline to apply: 12/3/2012. For more information visit the website by clicking here.  


THE INSTITUTE FOR RURAL AMERICA is offering Seize The Moment Grants to nonprofits for up to $250 designed to assist groups needing to take quick action on issues that arise, or to send staff to training programs in their respective fields. Deadline: rolling. For application guidelines, click here.  


Middle and High School Students Invited to Apply for Prudential Spirit of Community Awards -Middle and high school students in the United States who volunteered to help a community at home or abroad in the previous year are eligible to apply for an award of $1,000.... Deadline: November 6, 2012


Youth Leaders Invited to Apply for Nestle Very Best in Youth Program - Applicants must be between 14 and 18 years of age and must demonstrate good citizenship, have a strong academic record, and show how they have made a special contribution to their school, church, or community.... Deadline: November 8, 2012


Arch Coal Foundation Invites Nominations for Teacher Recognition Program - The program seeks nominations of outstanding K-12 teachers from West Virginia, Wyoming, and four counties in Utah (Carbon, Emery, Sanpete, and Sevier) for awards of $3,500....Deadline: January 7, 2013


Lexus and Scholastic Launch Sixth Annual Environmental Contest for Middle and High School Students - Grants and scholarships totaling $500,000 will be awarded to U.S. middle and high school students, their teachers, and their schools in recognition of outstanding team efforts to address environmental challenges.... Deadline: Various


Applications Invited for United States Institute of Peace Public Education for Peacebuilding Support Program - Grants of $2,000 will be awarded to two hundred and fifty American colleges, universities, and public libraries to support events that advance and promote the understanding of peacebuilding and international conflict resolution.... Deadline: November 1, 2012

Suzette M. Agans
Rural Development | Community and Economic Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Stop 3254 | Washington, D.C. 20250
Phone: 202.401.1922 | Fax: 202.401.7311

"Committed to the future of rural communities"
"Estamos dedicados al futuro de las comunidades rurales"

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