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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 communties, July 13, 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 Department of Agricluture’s (SDDA) Division of Agricultural Development has assigned representatives to specific regions in South Dakota. A map and contact information for the appropriate regional representatives can be found at the following link:

The Board of Economic Development is accepting its first round of applications for the Economic Development Partnership Program, as well as the Local Infrastructure Improvement Program. The applications and general information on each program can be found at: or Each program has its own tab on the left side of the page. Applications must be submitted by July 31st to be considered at the board’s September meeting.

SDHDA Accepting Public Comments for the South Dakota Housing Opportunity Fund Allocation Plan:
The public is invited to provide comments regarding the newly established SD Housing Opportunity Fund Allocation Plan. SDHDA and our Board of Commissioners are responsible for the administration of the Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) in accordance with Senate Bill 235 of the 2013 South Dakota State Legislature. Click here to read more about the SD Housing Opportunity Fund or to access the allocation plan.


State-by-State Snapshot of Poverty Among Seniors: Findings From Analysis of the Supplemental Poverty Measure
Presents poverty data, among seniors, by state. Includes seniors living in poverty and those living with modest incomes. Includes charts, tables, and maps. Organization: Kaiser Family Foundation. Date: 05 / 2013

Safety in Rural Areas – Provides safety tips when dealing with an abusive relationship in a rural area or town. Organization: National Network to End Domestic Violence

U.S. agricultural exports and imports forecast to continue to rise – U.S. fiscal 2013 (October 2012/September 2013) agricultural exports are forecast at a record $139.5 billion, $3.7 billion above fiscal 2012 exports and $2.1 above the fiscal 2011 record.U.S. agricultural imports are forecast at a record of $111 billion in fiscal 2013, $7.6 billion above the previous record in fiscal 2012.

Hired farmworkers lacking authorization are particularly important for some crops Hired farmworkers make up less than 1 percent of all U.S. wage and salary workers, but play an essential role in U.S. agriculture. In 2012, some 1.1 million hired farmworkers were employed on U.S. farms, according to USDA’s Farm Labor Survey. The U.S. Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey provides information about the immigration status of hired crop farmworkers but does not cover the livestock sector, for which no similar data are available. Of those crop workers surveyed between 2007 and 2009, 71 percent were foreign-born (67 percent in Mexico and 4 percent elsewhere). Forty-eight percent of all hired crop workers surveyed, and over 60 percent of those surveyed in the fruits/nuts and vegetable sector, indicated that they were not legally authorized to work in the United States. A chart is available based on data from Immigration and the Rural Workforce, in the ERS Newsroom, updated May 2013.

Recent job trends vary widely among nonmetro counties – All sectors of the economy were not equally affected by the 2007-09 economic recession and the subsequent recovery. Specialization within local economies has shaped county-to-county differences in recent rural (nonmetro) growth in jobs.


For a small farmer, building a slaughter facility is prohibitively expensive without enough volume to sustain it economically. The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse is available here. The book includes recipes, sample community surveys, farmer checklists, and step-by-step slaughtering instructions.

Online Tool Helps Find Opportunities for Bike/Pedestrian Project Funding
A new tool from Advocacy Advance makes it easier to identify the federal transportation programs that could be used to pay for many types of walking and bicycling programs. The tool also provides helpful information about each type of federal transportation funding source available for biking and walking projects, including what it is, how much funding is available, and who to approach for more information. Click here to access the tool. goes mobile has launched a mobile compatible version of its website, the U.S. Department of Labor announced today (July 1)., the official benefits website of theU.S. government, has enhanced its site for visitors using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The changes make it easier for the public to access government benefit and assistance program information anytime, anywhere.


WEBINAR: EPA Webinar to Address Stormwater Management, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Complete Streets
On Tuesday, July 16 from 2:30-3:45 ET, experts from HUD, DOT, EPA, and the city of Indianapolis will discuss ways communities can use green infrastructure to manage stormwater, help revitalize neighborhoods, and create complete streets, and how federal formula funds can be used to finance green infrastructure. Green infrastructure involves using landscape features to store, infiltrate, and evaporate stormwater. No pre-registration is required. Click here for more information.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities invites you to attend a webinar on green infrastructure on Tuesday, July 16, from 2:30-3:45 Eastern. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities—a collaboration of the U.S. Department and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently. Tuesday, July 16, from 2:30-3:45 Eastern. No pre-registration is required. Click on Log in as a guest.

TELECONFERENCE: Design for the Vision and Values of Your Community, Thursday, July 25, 2013 3-4 PM EDT Registration

Read more on blog about why a sound values-based community vision is an essential foundation for your projects, and sign up to join our free call!

WEBINAR: Energy Savings is Asset Building, Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | 2 – 3 pm EDTAccording to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the average U.S. household spends about $1,900 per year on home energy. From changes like adding insulation or replacing appliances to fully replacing an outdated home with a newer ENERGY STAR® home, organizations across the country are advancing innovative strategies that amount to hundreds of dollars in energy savings for low-income families every year. In this webinar, presenters will share measures that homeowners and renters can take to control, or lower, their monthly utility bills to save more money and build assets. Participants will learn about energy savings strategies that work as well as innovative programs that are making a difference in the energy savings and asset building fields. Registration:

RECORDED WEBINAR: Affordable Care Act and You Click on the link to view and hear this presentation recording or download slides, and call 1.888.566.0614 to hear the audio. It describes the Affordable Care Act, health insurance marketplaces, qualified health plans (QHPs), essential health benefits (EHBs), and what this all means to consumers, small businesses, employers, and health care providers in rural communities. It also summarizes implementation timelines and deadlines associated with these aspects of the ACA. Organization: Office of Rural Health Policy


The Ethanol Infrastructure Incentive Program began its third round of funding. Funding for the grant program is made possible by a partnership between the South Dakota Ethanol Producers and the State of South Dakota. Grant awards up to $25,000 are available for installation of a station’s first blender pump. Grants up to $10,000 are available for installation of each additional pump. For more information about the blender pump grant program, visit

USDA is seeking applications for grants that will be awarded to national, nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance for rural transportation systems. The funding is through USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. The type of assistance provided may include on-site technical assistance to local and regional governments, public transit agencies, and related non-profit and for-profit organizations in rural areas; developing training materials; and the provision of necessary training assistance to local officials and agencies in rural areas. Applications are due September 3, 2013. For additional information on how to apply for the grants, please see page 40092 of the July 3, 2013 Federal Register or go to

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. 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. Completed applications must be received by August12, 2013. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see the notice published on page 38915 of the June 28, 2013 Federal Register:

HOUSEHOLD WATER WELL GRANTS AVAILABLE. Nonprofits can apply by July 26 for funds to lend to homeowners to construct or repair wells for existing homes. Contact Joyce M. Taylor, USDA RUS, 202-720-9589.

The Aspen Institute Ascend Fund has recently announced $1 million in grant funds available to support community-based programs, policy, and research moving families toward educational success and economic security. Prospective applicants are encouraged to participate in an informational webinar on July 22 regarding the application process for the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund. Letters of Inquiry are due by4 p.m. (CDT) on August 19

Native Asset Building Initiative – Application deadline: Jul 15, 2013
Funding to establish and operate a Native Asset Building Initiative which will provide an array of supports and services to enable low income individuals and families to become economically self-sufficient.

Rural Youth Development Grants – Application deadline: Jul 15, 2013
Provides grants to 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Future Farmers of America programs to break down economic and physical barriers for youth living in rural areas to participate in programs that allow them to receive adequate care, services, or resources necessary for healthy development.

Section 533 Rural Housing Preservation Grants – Application deadline: Aug 2, 2013
Grants to assist rural low-income homeowners and renters to repair and rehabilitate their homes.

Libri Books for Children Program – Application deadline: Aug 15, 2013
Donates new, quality, hardcover children’s books to small, rural public libraries in the United States.

Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants – Application deadline: Sep 10, 2013
Supports communities that have undergone a comprehensive local planning process and are ready to implement their “Transformation Plan” to redevelop the neighborhood.

Economic Development Assistance Programs – Application deadline: Sep 13, 2013
Grants for rural and urban communities to support the implementation of regional economic development strategies.

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDLG) – Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Offers loans and grants are to assist in the economic development of rural areas.

Small Business Administration Microloan Program – Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Offers loans to small businesses and nonprofit childcare centers to start up and expand.

MacArthur Foundation Announces Open Call for Documentary Film Proposals – Eight to twelve projects will receive grants of up to $200,000 for the production and distribution of social-issue documentary films on important contemporary topics…. Deadline: July 31, 2013

National Alliance for Accessible Golf Accepting Applications for Programs Serving Individuals With Disabilities – Grants support organizations that provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to learn and enjoy the game of golf and its inherent values…. Deadline: Rolling

National Science Teachers Association Accepting Entries for Shell Science Lab Challenge – More than $93,000 in equipment, cash grants, and other resources will be awarded to middle and high school science teachers in the U.S. and Canada who have created replicable approaches to science lab instruction utilizing limited resources…. Deadline: December 20, 2013

Pollination Project Seeks Applications from Educators for School Social Change Projects – Seed grants of $1,000 will be awarded to educators to launch or expand social change projects that support their students in making a positive difference in the world…. Deadline: September 22, 2013

Aetna Foundation Accepting Applications for Regional Nutrition and Physical Activity Programs – Grants of up to $40,000 will be awarded for programs that target communities where healthy food can be difficult to buy, and where social and environmental factors may limit people’s ability to be physically active…. Deadline: September 15, 2013

Wood to Energy Initiative – The Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, State and Private Forestry (S&PF), is providing leadership and funding on behalf of a USDA, multi-agency, Wood To Energy Initiative. The USDA has published a Request For Proposals (RFP) that supports collaborative, statewide wood energy teams that advance the installation of commercially viable wood energy systems.

Public-private statewide teams are invited to seek funding to support the development of geographic or business sector-based clusters of wood energy projects. Activities may include, but are not limited to, workshops and assistance that provide technical, financial and environmental information; preliminary engineering assessments; and community outreach needed to support development of wood energy projects in both the public and private sectors.

Eligible applicants are State, local and Tribal governments, non-profit organizations, or public utilities districts. Applicants may be either or both of the fiscal and administrative agents for the funding. The July 9 FEDERAL REGISTER outlines the application requirements and Federal evaluation criteria. The application deadline is August 5, 2014.

If you would like to be added to Christine Sorensen’s confidential listserv, e-mail her at



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