Friday, September 12, 2014

FW: Publications, Tools, Learning, and Funding


Below is the weekly update from USDA-RD on grants, webinars, etc.


Attached is the flyer and registration for the annual Rural Economic Outlook conference, Oct 30-31, on the OSU campus. You should consider coming, but feel free to share this with others that may be interested (e.g., local bankers, economic development professionals, city/county leadership).


From: Agans, Suzette - RD, Washington, DC []
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2014 7:22 AM
Subject: Publications, Tools, Learning, and Funding




A Different Perspective on Manufacturing

When we look at manufacturing, we typically look at the number of manufacturing jobs as a gauge on how the sector is doing. A report from 24/7 Wall Street in August looked at manufacturing output as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The information was very encouraging. This week we will share excerpts from the article, and next week we will look specifically at the 17 states in which Agracel has projects. Click on link for the rest of the article.


U.S. fiscal 2015 agricultural exports forecast down from fiscal 2014 record

Fiscal 2015 U.S. agricultural exports are projected at $144.5 billion, down $8 billion from the record $152.5 billion forecast for fiscal 2014, primarily because of the outlook for lower commodity prices. Lower prices are projected to reduce fiscal 2015 exports of oilseeds and products by $5.1 billion and cotton by $600 million, while lower prices and volumes reduce grain and feed exports by $4.9 billion, compared with fiscal 2014. Horticultural exports are, however, projected to rise $2.9 billion to a record $37.0 billion in fiscal 2015, eclipsing exports of grains and feeds for the first time. Agricultural exports to China are forecast down $3.0 billion from fiscal 2014, but China is expected to remain the top U.S. agricultural market. Exports to Russia are projected to decline by $800 million to $400 million in fiscal 2015 as a result of trade restrictions against the United States. U.S. agricultural imports are forecast at a record $117 billion in fiscal 2015, $7.5 billion higher than in fiscal 2014, with the largest gains in horticultural products, sugar and tropical products, and livestock products. Find these data and additional analysis in the Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: August 2014.





Policies for Community Wealth Building - This new report, which can be downloaded below, is a representative survey of some key emerging best practices in state and local policy-making to support community wealth building—designed to support economic inclusion goals, create quality jobs with family-supporting wages, address generational poverty, stabilize communities and the environment, and address growing wealth inequality. The recommendations below build off our work since 2005 tracking innovative state, local, and national strategies through our website, where we have paid close attention to the policies that have helped scale and generalize best practices in community wealth building since the emergence of the field. Our recommendations also draw specifically from our work to develop a model national policy to support comprehensive community wealth building in our 2010 report Rebuilding America’s Communities: A Comprehensive Community Wealth Building Federal Policy Proposal, our 2013 invited proposal of a policy agenda for community wealth building to the Illinois Governor’s Task Force on Social Innovation, as well as our work on the ground with policy makers and economic development officials in cities like Cleveland, Ohio and Jacksonville, Florida.


Track a Century of U.S. Development With a Tool That Centralizes Old Maps, Citylab | READ STORY

This interactive map tool provided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) allows those interested in cartography and development a way to view the agency's expansive collection. The website allows the user to access over 178,000 maps going back to 1884; the maps are also searchable by city. It is possible to layer maps on each other which allows for a very clear visual representation how a city or area has expanded.


New Online Tool Provides State & Local Energy Data at Your Fingertips

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has launched a new website that provides state and local decision makers easy access to a wealth of energy data specific to their location.  The resources and data can be used to support strategic energy planning processes and deployment of clean energy projects. By entering a city and state or zip code into the State and Local Energy Data (SLED) online tool, users can see how their current electricity prices compare with the state and national averages, learn about applicable policies and incentives that could affect energy projects in their state, find available renewable energy resources, get details on alternative transportation fuel costs, and much more – all in one location.  The tool also includes a video that provides an overview of how to use the tool and examples of how you may find it useful in your community.


Workforce Information: Census Flows Mapper Highlights Labor Force Characteristics of Movers Between Counties

Of the 16.6 million people who lived in a different county one year before, 7.3 million were employed and 1.3 million were unemployed, according to new migration statistics released  this week by the U.S. Census Bureau. A little over 5 percent of the U.S. population lived in a different county one year earlier.

The County-to-County Migration Flows Tables, which use data collected by the American Community Survey between 2008 and 2012, show how many residents move (flow) from one specific county to another during the course of a year.

These statistics show the work, occupation and employment status of movers at the time they were surveyed,” said Kin Koerber, a demographer with the Census Bureau’s Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch. “With the new update, we can see movements of occupation groups from one part of the country to another.”

The release includes new statistics on employment status, work status and occupation characteristics and an update to the online mapping tool Census Flows Mapper. In addition, migration flows from Puerto Rico municipios (county equivalents) to U.S. counties are included for the first time.





WEBINAR: Case Studies of Funding Sources for Local Food Systems in Midwest Communities - September 16, 2014 (Tuesday), 10:00 AM CT / 11:00 AM – Eastern Time

Linda Naeve and Christa Hartsook (Iowa State University).

Support for and interest in local food systems is increasing in communities throughout the country. Much of the efforts are through “grassroots” organizations that seek funding support for their projects and programs. This project focused on seven programs in Midwest communities and how they utilized several grant sources to accomplish their goals. Linda and Christa will discuss the increased awareness in local foods and report on the case studies of funding support for community local foods programs.


About the Speakers: Linda Naeve is an extension program specialist at Iowa State University. As a specialist in horticulture, much of her work focuses on local food production, food safety, and local food systems. Christa Hartsook is an extension program coordinator at Iowa State University. As the small farms/acreage living coordinator, she focuses on local food production, opportunities for small farmers and homesteading.


There is no registration and no fee for attending this webinar. 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. The webinar will be recorded and archived at





To date, FastTrac has educated nearly 500 veterans as they pursue innovative business ideas and turn them into realities.  

Classes in the Kauffman FastTrac program typically cost $700, but veterans have the opportunity to take this online course free of charge.

The course runs from Sept. 29 – Dec. 3 and takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. CDT. Learn more and register or visit for more information.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Invites Applications for Entrepreneurs Academy Grants - DEADLINE: September 26, 2014

Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to launch the Young Entrepreneurs Academy program in communities across the country....


NACo Invites You to Host a County Prosperity Summit – DEADLINE Oct 3

The National Association of Counties (NACo) invites rural and mid-sized counties (counties with a population under 250,000 or multi-county regions with a population under 400,000) to apply to host a Prosperity Summit.  These economic development workshops will bring national experts to your community who will work with local leaders to generate creative solutions around local economic development opportunities.  NACo will work with each selected county to develop a personalized agenda and individualized content relevant to specific local issues.  Each summit will convene approximately 25-50 participants, including a broad mixture of county elected officials and staff, other local and regional public officials, business owners, representatives of the nonprofit and philanthropic community and other relevant stakeholders.  The application deadline is October 3 at 5 p.m. ET and selected communities will be notified by October 24, 2014.  To apply online click here.  Contact Kathy Nothstine at with any questions.


Applications Invited for National Dance Project Touring Awards - DEADLINE: October 14, 2014

The awards provide up to $35,000 for artist fees and travel in support of national tours of new dance works presented by nonprofit organizations in the United States....


Sustainable Development Program - Deadline: Rolling
Funder: Rockefeller Brothers Fund


Learning and Leadership Grants – Deadline: October 15, 2014
Funder: NEA


Chamber Music America Issues RFP for New Jazz Presenters Grant Program - DEADLINE: October 17, 2014

Grants of up to $30,000 are available to consortia of three U.S. presenters that collectively engage up to three professional U.S. jazz ensembles to perform at each presenter's venue....


$15M Solicitation for Regional Innovation Released - Applications must be submitted by November 3, 2014. Read the FFO…

The U.S. Department of Commerce released a solicitation (EDA-HDQ-OIE-2014-2004219) for Regional Innovation Grants via the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. Under the RIS program, Commerce is soliciting applications for three separate Regional Innovation Strategy funding awards, including:

  • i6 Challenge grants;
  • Science and Research Park Development Grants; and,
  • Cluster Grants to support the development of seed capital funds.

These awards are intended to help develop regional innovation ecosystems that provide support and funding to startups engaged in the commercialization process that ultimately lead to high-growth companies – the drivers of regional economic prosperity and job creation.

Launched in 2010 as part of the Startup America Initiative, i6 Challenge grants support regional economic growth and job creation by providing funding to proof-of-concept and/or commercialization centers that increase the commercialization of innovations, ideas, intellectual property and research into viable companies. Proof-of-concept centers and commercialization centers can be physical or virtual, existing or new.

EDA will award Cluster Grants for seed funds to help support innovation-based, growth-oriented startups (generally less than three years old) by helping increase the availability of seed capital funding in regions across the country. These awards will provide funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds to be deployed in support of innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth. The proposed seed funds must focus on startups that are commercializing or using an innovative technology in the development of their product or service.

Approximately $15 million in federal funding will be made available to support the three RIS grant programs:

  • Up to $8 million for the 2014 i6 Challenge, from which EDA expects to award approximately 16 or more grants with a maximum award of $500,000.
  • Up to $5 million for the Science and Research Park Development Grants program to award 10 or more grants with a maximum award of $500,000.
  • Up to $2 million for Cluster Grants for Seed Funds to support approximately eight or more grants with a maximum award of $250,000.

Eligibility requirements differ for the three award types. For i6 Challenge grants and Cluster Grants, eligibility is restricted to state and local governments, institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations. In addition to the types of applicants eligible for other RIS grants, for-profit organizations and hospitals may also apply for Science and Research Park Development Grants. EDA encourages applicants consider applying as a consortium.

Two Informational Webinars
SSTI is hosting with the Economic Development Administration two informational webinars, which will be recorded and posted to the SSTI website. The webinars will be on Monday, September 8 at 3:00 PM EDT and Wednesday, September 10 at 2:00 PM EDT to answer questions about the FFO.

Click here to register for the Webinar on the 8th. OR Click here to register for the Webinar on the 10th.

Space is limited and expected to fill very quickly. Read more »

FTA Announces Funding Opportunity to Promote Innovative Nationally and Regionally Significant Public Transportation Workforce Development Models and Programs -
due by November 4.

The Federal Transit Administration has announced a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Innovative Public Transportation Workforce Development Program Ladders of Opportunity Initiative. FTA will make available approximately $7.85 million in appropriated funds in support of this effort. This NOFA solicits proposals that promote innovative nationally and regionally significant public transportation workforce development models and programs that invest in America's economic growth and help build ladders of opportunity into the middle class for American workers.


Filmmakers From Underrepresented Communities Invited to Apply for Tribeca All Access - DEADLINE: November 5, 2014

Five narrative filmmakers and five documentary filmmakers whose teams include a U.S.-based director or screenwriter from a community that is statistically underrepresented in the film industry will each receive a grant of $15,000 to use toward the development, production, post-production, or marketing of their film project....


Humane Society of the United States Foundation Invites Nominations for 2015 National Kind Teacher Award - DEADLINE: February 15, 2015

One winner will receive a framed certificate and a scholarship to the Humane Society University's Certified Humane Education Specialist program....


Public Welfare Foundation Accepting Letters of Intent for Juvenile Justice Programs - DEADLINE: Open (Letters of Inquiry)

Through its Juvenile Justice program, the foundation awards grants to organizations and programs working to end the criminalization and over-incarceration of youth in the United States....




Suzette M. Agans

Community and Economic Development
Rural Development | U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W. | Washington, D.C. 20250-3253
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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