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The following is from Christine Sorensen, rural development coordinator for the U. S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development in Pierre, S.D. Read on for valuable resources for rural communities, including several grant opportunities.

Resources for rural communities, August 18, 2013

The following is from Christine Sorensen, rural development coordinator for the U. S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development in Pierre, S.D. Read on for valuable resources for rural communities, including several grant opportunities.


South Dakota Local Foods Conference: Save the Date! November 15-16, 2013, Adoba Hotel, Rapid City, SD. LIKE our page on FACEBOOK and stay connected.

UNITED TRIBES SUMMIT IS SEPTEMBER 4-6th– BISMARCK (UTN) – Leaders of North Dakota’s tribal nations and key tribal supervisors and employees are set to gather in Bismarck for the 17th Annual United Tribes Tribal Leaders Summit. View the agenda and registration form, along with listings of other meetings, by clicking here: http://www.unitedtribespowwow.com/summit/.

HHS, USDA and the food industry welcome new guidelines promoting industry

Friday, October 25, 2013 for the 4th Annual Women’s Business Conference presented by the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity. This event for employees, managers, business owners, senior leaders, and CEO’s incorporates presentations by: Leading Edge Coaching & Development, Jane Pfeifle of Lynn, Jackson, Schultz & Lebrun P.C., a Panel of Entrepreneurs, a Networking Luncheon and Business Showcase. When: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Where: The Lodge at Deadwood Early Bird Registration: $90 Early Bird Deadline: October 11th Register today ONLINE or by phone at 605-642-6435


The Farmers Market Directory, a voluntary online database at farmersmarkets.usda.gov, identifies new farmers markets, the states with the highest number of markets in operation, and the total number of farmers markets that have registered throughout the United States.

Dig deeper into broadband access in rural vs. urban places in this new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Highlights from National Rural Assembly are now available.

Reclaiming Native Food Systems’ Report Highlights Innovation, Ingenuity and Resiliency of Tribes; report can be found at this link

First Nations Development Institute Report Details Considerations to Include When Planning to Launch a Native American Farm-to-School Food Program: The downloadable report is available for free through the First Nations website at this link.

How to Fund Transit Without Raising Fares or Cutting Service


When Mark Aesch became head of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, back in 2004, the metro area’s bus system was in terrible shape. The agency carried a $4.5 million deficit and on-time performance was stuck at 76 percent. Officials wanted to approach the problem the way so many other city agencies were handling similar situations at the time: with a fare hike. Aesch said no.

Do Cluster Initiatives Work? Evidence from SBA’s Pilot Initiative

Small businesses often are surrounded by a myriad resources and potential partners that could help leverage their products and services to innovate and grow, but they are not always aware of how to access them. In order to remedy this lack of strong regional networks, the Obama administration has attempted to connect existing businesses, institutions of higher education, economic development organizations, investors, small businesses, and startups to create regional clusters that stimulate economic growth through SBA and EDA regional cluster initiatives. A commissioned study of the first two years of the SBA’s 10 pilot cluster initiatives in which the agency invested $1 million toward regional industries and advanced defense technologies found a significant correlation between these initiatives and economic growth. Read more…

Rural educational attainment has been rising – Historically, rural (nonmetro) areas in the United States have lagged metro areas in educational attainment, but nonmetro areas are catching up over time. In the decade following the 2000 Census, the percentage of the rural population with less than a high school education dropped significantly, and is now only slightly higher than in urban areas. Meanwhile, high school completion, college attendance, and college completion rates in nonmetro areas all rose during the 2000s. However, nonmetro areas still face a large gap compared with metro areas in the share of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher—17.4 percent versus 30.2 percent in 2007-11. At least part of this gap reflects the higher pay that highly educated workers often can earn in metropolitan labor markets. This chart updates one found in the Rural Employment and Education topic page.

Food insecurity increased in most States over the last decade – As the 2007-09 Great Recession and its accompanying higher unemployment took its toll on U.S. families, food insecurity at the national level increased. In 2011, 14.9 percent of U.S. households were food insecure—up from 10.7 percent in 2001. Food-insecure households are those that were, at times, unable to acquire adequate food for one or more household members due to insufficient money or other resources for food. States differed both in the percentage of households that were food insecure and in the change in that prevalence rate during the period. From 2001 to 2011, the prevalence of food insecurity was essentially unchanged in 9 States and grew for the remaining 41 States and Washington, DC. This chart appears in “Food Insecurity Increased in Most States From 2001 to 2011” in the July 2013 issue of ERS’s Amber Waves magazine.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City‘s Newsletter: Wind power development in the United States has increased substantially since the mid-2000s. The latest issue of the Main Street Economist explores the fundamentals of wind power development, as well as the effects of federal and state renewable energy policies on the industry.

For more information, please visit: http://www.kansascityfed.org/publications/research/mse/index.cfm?ealert=mse0713

Small-Town Main Streets Go Mobile – A West Virginia project helps communities build their own mobile apps, creating tools for business and communication. Mobile Main Street is a nonprofit project working to develop a free system that communities can use to build their own mobile apps – software applications that work on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. These apps work by aggregating the social media feeds of various community participants. Rather than generate profits for their developers, the apps are designed to generate information that supports the community. Mobile Main Street is in its pilot stage, exploring the economic potential of this mobile technology for rural America.

For the whole story – http://www.dailyyonder.com/small-town-main-streets-go-mobile/2013/07/22/6634

The percent of rural households with Internet at home varies across the Nation – By 2010, 73 percent of U.S. urban households had home subscriptions to the Internet, compared with only 62 percent of rural households and farms, according to Current Population Survey (CPS) data. Rural Internet usage, however, is not uniform across the country. On average, rural households in the Northeast and West are more likely to have some form of inhome access to the Internet, while households in the rural South are the least likely to subscribe. The regional disparity in subscriber rates reflects, to some degree, demographic differences such as income, education, and age. Among rural households that use the Internet, broadband adoption rates (not shown here) are lowest in Appalachia and in several areas—such as Michigan and South Carolina—that experienced the highest unemployment rates during the Great Recession of 2007-09. Rural broadband adoption rates are uniformly below corresponding statewide urban rates. A map is found in the ERS report, Rural Broadband At A Glance, 2013 Edition, June 2013.


The Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health has been released. These documents, developed by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration), can be downloaded for your use in convening a community conversation on mental health. The toolkit includes three parts: an Information Brief, a Discussion Guide, and a Planning Guide. The Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health is available for download at: Creating Community Solutions (On this page, you’ll also find other resource materials that can help you in organizing a community conversation.)

Sustainable Communities HotReport: How well is your community performing on transportation, housing, economic development, income, and equity? Wednesday, August 21, 1:00 – 2:00 Eastern. The Sustainable Communities HotReport is a new web-based tool that gives community leaders and residents a quick and easy way to determine how well their community is performing on a variety of sustainability indicators, including transportation, housing, economic development, income, and equity. Produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the tool can help communities measure their own performance and compare themselves to communities of a similar type. No pre-registration is required. Click on https://epa.connectsolutions.com/epasmartgrowth. Log in as a guest.

Smart Growth and Economic Success. September 18, 3:00 – 4:00 Eastern. This webinar will explore how smart growth strategies at the regional, city, and neighborhood level can maximize economic advantages while creating attractive, healthy communities that help protect the environment. EPA’s Melissa Kramer will discuss the report, Smart Growth and Economic Success: Benefits for Real Estate Developers, Investors, Businesses, and Local Government, and speakers from Lehigh   Valley, PA, Champaign, IL, and Phoenix, AZ will discuss how smart growth is helping their communities prosper. Details on how to access this webinar are provided below. Click on https://epa.connectsolutions.com/epasmartgrowth. Log in as a guest.

Census Bureau’s New Tool Puts Congressional District Statistics at Your Fingertips – The U.S. Census Bureau has released My Congressional District, the first interactive tool geared exclusively toward finding basic demographic and economic statistics for every congressional district in the U.S. This Web app uses the latest annual statistics from the American Community Survey, providing the most detailed portrait of America’s towns and neighborhoods.


WEBINAR: Develop a Mission-Driven Sales Culture for Your CDFI!, August 22, 2:00 pm EDT/1:00 pm CDT/11:00 am PDT  Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/630705297 The webinar will be led by Leslie Hoffman, Catherine Meyrat and Barbara Eckblad, nationally recognized leaders in the micro enterprise CDFI industry. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar. For more information, contact Jason Friedman at jasonj@friedmanassociates.net

Attracting Returnees and Newcomers webinar series will be launched in October. Sign up to be notified of this interactive webinar to create a community brand and message that will attract people looking to move to small communities.

DOT Hosting Webinar Series on Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is hosting a series of upcoming Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) webinars to provide outreach and information on TAP.

· Webinar : Outreach and Discussion on Program Performance Information, Thursday, August 29, 2013, Date: Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Click here to register.

For questions about the TAP webinar series please contact Christopher Douwes at Christopher.douwes@dot.gov or 202-366-5013 or Shana Baker at shana.baker@dot.gov or 202-366-4649.


South Dakota Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) APPLICATIONS are available! This program is designed to promote economic development inSouth Dakota by expanding the supply of decent, safe, sanitary and affordable housing targeted to low and moderate income families and individuals inSouth Dakota.HOF funds may be used for the following projects:

1. new construction

2. the purchase and rehabilitation of rental or home ownership housing,

3. housing preservation, including home repair grants and grants to make homes more accessible to individual with disabilities,

4. homelessness prevention activities, and

5. community land trusts.

Any for-profit entity, nonprofit entity, tribal government, housing authority, political subdivision of this state or agency of such subdivision, or agency of this state is eligible to apply for funding. First applications for funding are due to SDHDA by October 1, 2013.

More information on the program can be found in the Housing Opportunity Plan (see attached pdf documents). Link to SDHDA website: http://www.sdhda.org/sdhda-main-website/developer/housing-opportunity-fund

Promise Zones – HUD has posted the draft selection criteria for both urban and rural/tribal on www.hud.gov/promisezones.

Project Learning Tree Greenworks! Grant, Deadline: September 30, 2013

Direct Line for American BusinessDirect Line lets U.S. business hear directly from our Ambassadors and our economic and commercial experts at over 260 Embassies and Consulates in over 190 countries. Our staffs are trained to identify promising market sectors and to help U.S. exporters capitalize on new opportunities. Any U.S. business can register for a Direct Line call at http://www.state.gov/e/eb/directline

Ronald McDonald House Announces Revision of Grantmaking Strategy
RMHC has revised its grantmaking strategy to focus on sustainable, replicable projects that include a train-the-trainer component and address the most pressing issues related to children’s health and well being…. Deadline: August 30, 2013

Grant to Support Science or Math Education: K-5 Teachers, Deadline: October 1, 2013. Funder: ToshibaAmerica Foundation

Academic-Community Partnership Conference Series (R13), Deadline: October 17, 2013. Funder: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH

Grants for Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability Initiatives, Deadline: December 1, 2013. Funder: The Ray C. Anderson Foundation

Regional & National Grants, Deadline: Open. Funder: Aetna Foundation

Kennedy Center Seeks Nominations for Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards
Awards of $10,000 will be presented to K-12 teachers and college or university instructors in the United States in recognition of their outstanding impact on the lives of students…. Deadline: December 15, 2013

Partners for Sight Foundation Announces RFP for Projects to Assist Blind, Visually Impaired
Grants totaling up to $700,000 will be awarded to organizations working on initiatives that align with the foundation’s mission to assist the visually impaired and blind in leading independent and productive lives…. Deadline: September 20, 2013 (Pre-proposals)

Whole Kids Foundation Accepting Applications for School Garden Grant Program – Grants of $2,000 are available for garden projects at public and private K-12 schools in the United States, the United Kingdom, andCanada…. Deadline: October 31, 2013

Sloan Foundation Accepting Nominations for 2014 Research Fellows – Through the program, $50,000 fellowships will be awarded to a hundred and twenty-six researchers in recognition of their distinguished performance and potential to make substantial contributions to a STEM field…. Deadline: September 16, 2013

Department of Labor Funding Opportunitieshttp://www.dol.gov/dol/grants/funding-ops.htm


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