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.
Stronger Economies Together–James River Valley Region team invites you to a presentation “Exploring Entrepreneurship in your Region” to be held Thursday, January 16th, in Huron, South Dakota. The presentation will begin at 11:00 AM with Belinda Engelhart, Small Business Development Center, with free lunch served and followed with insights as to how your community can advance entrepreneurship in your region; ending at 2:00 PM. The session will be held at the Pyle Room in the Campus Center located 333 9th St SW Huron, SD 57350. Contact me–Christine–for questions and RSVP, at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 605-530-5353.
Garden-based Education Webinars: Webinars are scheduled for the second Wednesday of the month. The first session will be held Jan 8 from 4 to 4:30 p.m. CST. To participate in the Webinar click for more information . Participants are encouraged to log in within 15 minutes of the specified time. The program will feature “Garden-based education resources and 2014 SDSU Extension grants,” presented by Chris Zdorovtsov , SDSU Extension Community Development Field Specialist.
Save the date for these upcoming sessions:Feb 12, 4 to 4:30 p.m. CST: “Classroom Garden Activities for the Winter,” and Mar 12, 4 to 4:30 p.m. CST: “Garden Themes.” If you would like to receive more information on trainings and funding opportunities related to youth gardening programs or to exchanging questions and ideas with others involved in similar projects, e-mail Chris Zdorovtsov  to be added to the SDSU Youth Gardening LISTSERV.
Hunkpati Investments is requesting qualifications and proposals for a Dakota cultural consultant for the Dakota Culture Integration Program. Submission deadline is January 24, 2014. If interested in working on this project, please email Whitney Nordvold at Whitney.Nordvold@Hunkpati.org 
SD MarketPlace 2014 will be hosted by Northern State University on Wednesday, March 26th at the Student Center on campus in Aberdeen. In its third year, SD MarketPlace is a conference focused on small businesses. The one-day event will feature 20 sessions on topics such as marketing and branding, coaching employees, financial management, and building a successful business. The conference will also feature vendors serving the small business community. The keynote speaker is Burt Chojnowski of Fairfield, IA, population 9,500. Fairfield is an atypical rural community which thrives largely on its abundance of start-up companies with community members having established over 400 new businesses and created up to 1,500 jobs. For more information or to register, see SDMarketPlace  on the web. Early bird registration is only $59 prior to March 11, 2014.
South Dakota Department of Agriculture BRIDGE LOAN PROGRAM: Bridge Loans are available for Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved borrowers to finance land purchases when funds are not readily available at FSA. To be eligible, borrowers must be approved for FSA financing using the farm ownership program. Bridge Loans are limited to the FSA approved amount. Approved FSA borrowers may wish to proceed with farm real estate purchases immediately instead of waiting for FSA funds to be available. With the Bridge Loan program, the SDDA can finance the FSA portion for qualifying farmers so they can continue the land ownership process. It is estimated that a Bridge Loan will be paid off in as little as 3-9 months. Fact Sheet For more information on the Bridge Loan program, please contact the S.D. Department of Agriculture, Division of Agricultural Development at 605.773.5436 or by email: Terri LaBrie, Finance Administrator, email@example.com .
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City‘s website: The recovery of U.S. housing construction slowed during the first half of 2013. Author Jordan Rappaport projects that stronger growth of single-family and especially multifamily construction will resume in the near future. But over the long term, single-family construction is likely to contract as aging baby boomers downsize. To read the Economic Review article, visit: http://kansascityfed.org/publications/research/er/index.cfm?ealert=econrev122013-2 . To read the Macro Bulletin, visit http://kansascityfed.org/publications/research/mb/index.cfm?ealert=mb122013-2 .
Rural Job Loss Continues Despite National Job Recovery
The national job recovery continues to be largely focused on urban areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its latest employment statistics for counties and found that between October 2012-2013, rural areas lost almost as many jobs as urban areas gained. This interactive map breaks down the national change in rural jobs by county from October 2012-2013. Read more… 
Food Hub Resources – http://ngfn.org/resources/food-hubs , including what is a food hub, survey results of food hubs, links to other resources, etc.
The Center for Rural Affairs has published “Seniors and the Affordable Care Act” that discusses how the Affordable Care Act will affect seniors in rural communities. Click here to get a copy of the report.
Rapoza Associates released its 2013 Community Development Corporations report this month titled, “Stories of Community Impact,” detailing how CDCs in urban and rural communities across the country work with federal community development funding. Click here  to download a copy.
Tech Landscape Shifting from Suburbia to Downtown
A recent article in New Geography highlights the growing trend of tech startup and corporate re-location from suburban office parks to downtowns. The shift has taken local economic development planners by surprise and is affecting communities across the country. Read more… 
America’s Rental Housing: Evolving Markets and Needs – Reports that erosion in renter incomes has pushed the number of cost-burdened households to record levels, and aid has not kept pace. Compares data for non-metro and rural areas with cities and suburbs. Organization: Joint Center for Housing Studies – Harvard University. Date: 2013
In rural areas of the United States, expansion of three emerging energy industries—unconventional natural gas extraction, wind power development, and corn-based ethanol production—has led, on average, to net gains in local employment over the last decade. Natural gas development created a 12-percent increase in employment from 1999 to 2007 in select counties with increased drilling. In counties with some wind turbine installation, employment grew less than 1 percent from 2000 to 2008; counties adding an ethanol plant had a similar change. The share of total job growth contributed by each energy industry also varied, with natural gas development accounting for roughly half of the total employment growth for the typical gas-producing county. Because of the small change in overall employment in ethanol plant counties, the employment effect of the typical ethanol plant within closely-linked industries also represented a large share of employment growth (32 percent). This chart is found in the ERS report, Emerging Energy Industries and Rural Growth , ERR-159, November 2013.
The US Census Website has changed. The following is updated guidance for navigating to the 2010 Census Interactive Population Maps. Go to: American Fact Finder 
- · Choose “Download Options”
- · Under “Download via FTP site”
- · Choose “Census Bureau’s FTP Site” then click on the “Data” tab
- · Under Interactive Internet Datatools
- · Click on “2010 Census Interactive Population Map”
- · Then populate the map with specific detailed information
HUD and DOT Release Calculation Tool to Estimate Housing and Transportation Costs
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) jointly unveiled the Location Affordability Portal  (LAP), a cost calculation tool that allows users to estimate housing and transportation costs for neighborhoods across the country. The LAP will help consumers and communities better understand the combined costs of housing and transportation associated with living in a specific region, street, or neighborhood and make better-informed decisions about where to live, work, and invest.
The LAP hosts two cutting-edge data tools: the Location Affordability Index (LAI) and My Transportation Cost Calculator (MTCC). The map-based LAI is a database of predicted annual housing and transportation costs for a particular area. The LAI includes diverse household profiles—which vary by income, size, and number of commuters—and shows the affordability landscape for each one across an entire region. It was designed to help renters and homeowners, as well as planners, policymakers, developers, and researchers, get a more complete understanding of the costs of living in a location given the differences between households, neighborhoods, and regions, all of which impact affordability. The data covers 94% of the U.S. population. The Cost Calculator, a companion to the LAI, allows users to customize data for their own household and potential residential locations. Users enter basic information about their income, housing, cars, and travel patterns. The customized estimates give a better understanding of transportation costs, how much they differ in other locations, and how much they are impacted by individual choices, allowing users to make more informed decisions about where to live and work. Click here  to access the Location Affordability Portal.
The U.S. Small Business Administration will present Not Just Contracts: The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, the first of a free, two-part webinar series on Jan.15 at 2 p.m. EST. The second webinar will be held Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. EST.
The hour-long webinars will cover:
- Eligibility requirements for 8(a) certification
- Technical assistance available through the 8(a) Program
- Common misconceptions about the 8(a) Program
- The top reasons why an 8(a) application is declined or returned
The first webinar will focus on how the 8(a) Program works, eligibility requirements, technical assistance available to small disadvantaged businesses and common myths about the program. Click on this link to register for the Jan. 15 webinar:
From work to private life, from professional to social networking, online and mobile technologies play a vital role in our everyday life. Utilizing these tools effectively is an important way for tourism businesses and destinations to engage their audiences, to strengthen their marketing efforts, and to find new approaches for sharing content. Learn about some examples of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) members – businesses, destinations and other organizations, offering ideas and inspirations for ecotourism organizations seeking to improve their online communications and storytelling approaches.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC-Aberdeen ) will be offering QuickBooks workshops. QuickBooks Pro software will be used for the workshop presentation. Participants will view the software live on screen but will not have individual computers. “QuickBooks: The Basics”–Wednesday, February 5th 9:00-12:00 pm/”QuickBooks: Inventory and Payroll”--Wednesday February 5th 1:30-4:00pm. For more information or to register, contact Kelly Weaver at the Small Business Development Center at 626-2565 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Free Disaster Preparedness Webinar: Wednesday January 15, 2014/ 9:30-11:00 AM CT: Is your apartment community ready for a disaster such as a fire, tornado, flood, or blizzard? Roger Jacobs, South Dakota Field Office Director at HUD will share what we all need to know to be ready if disaster strikes: Click here to register: https://sdhda.webex.com 
South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO)  will host a two-part HANDS-ON workshop that will enhance your skills and knowledge of Microsoft Excel.
Excel Beginner-Tuesday, January 28 from 3:30-6:30 pm/ On campus at BHSU in Spearfish, in Jonas Academic #205
Topics will include:
- Getting Started
- Formulas & Functions
- Representing data with charts
Excel Intermediate-Thursday, January 30 from 3:30-6:30 pm
On campus at BHSU in Spearfish, in Jonas Academic #205
Topics will include:
- Data Analysis
- Excel tables & database functions
- Other tips, tricks and answers
Register online: www.BHSU.edu/SDCEO 
Deadline: January 25
Fee: $99 per session, or $179 to attend both
Capacity: Class is limited so register early!!!
Phone: (605) 642-6435
WEBINARS from Rural Wealth Creation:
- · The Citizen-Led Sustainable Change January 9, 2014 webinar is Creating a New Story: Rural Action’s Pursuit of a Sustainable Economy in Appalachian Ohio.
- · January 16, 2014, join a webinar to hear about the Appalachian Transition Fellowship. Learn more by reading this post .
- · Owning Our Future is the topic of the WCRL webinar on January 23, 2014.
You’ll find registration information on the Webinars page . All three webinars take place from 1 – 2 pm ET (noon – 1 pm CT).
Rule of Thumb-Small Business Free Webinars–Social Media Made Simple: Thursday, January 9th Click here for More Details. 
New Fact Sheets Now Available on Native Food and Health Issues
A new series of 12 Fact Sheets concerning Native American health and food issues. You can read them or download them (as PDFs) from website. They are absolutely free, but you may have to create a free account in Knowledge Center (online resource center) in order to access them. If you already have a free account in our Knowledge Center, you can get right to them after you sign in. Here’s the link: http://firstnations.org/KnowledgeCenter/NativeAmericanFoodsAndHealth/Resources/FactSheets 
The list of topics covered:
- Native Food Sovereignty
- History of Native Food Systems
- Food Systems and Implications for Economic Development
- Type 1 Diabetes In Native Communities
- Type 2 Diabetes In Native Communities
- Heart Disease in Native Communities
- Obesity in Native Communities
- Food Deserts, Food Insecurity and Poverty in Native Communities
- Commodity Foods and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Traditional Native Foods and Health
- Reclaiming Native Food Systems and Promoting Cultural Practices
- Eating Healthy in Native Communities
13th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference , Feb. 13-15, 2014, Denver, Colorado! The premiere smart growth conference of the year, New Partners brings together practitioners, activists, community leaders, and elected officials from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives. The program includes breakout and networking sessions, plenaries, workshops, training, tours, and opportunities for continuing education accreditation. Don’t miss the pre-conference workshop on Wednesday afternoon, Advancing Healthy, Equitable Food Systems , or the Thursday morning workshop, Equitable Development: Smarter Growth through Environmental Justice . The conference is cosponsored by EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities.
State of South Dakota-Economic Development Partnership: This program created two matching grants for development organizations: Revolving loan funds grants/ Staffing, training and equipment grants. For fiscal year 2014, $1,050,000 was allocated for this program and to date the Economic Development Board has awarded $580,615, leaving $469,385 for the final two application rounds of the fiscal year. The deadlines for submission are the end of January and April, 2014. Governor Daugaard has proposed that $4.5 million be allocated from an unexpected influx of unclaimed property in 2014 to fund this program for the next three fiscal years. Additional information regarding the Partnership Fund grant programs is available at: http://www.sdreadytowork.com/Financing-and-Incentives–Economic-Development-Partnership-Program.aspx 
2014 Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden, your school or organization must plan to garden in 2014 with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18. Preference will be given to schools within the United States with student body eligible for 50% or more reduced or free lunches. This is a global initiative; all International countries and territories are eligible to apply. The selection of winners is based on the demonstrated relationship between the garden program and peace studies, and nutrition and hunger issues. Due Date: Applications must be submitted by January 17th, 2013. Winners will receive an email and be announced on KidsGardening.org  on March 6th, 2014. Application  Applicants may apply without logging in here . Applicants with an account can log into Kidsgardening.org  and click the “Apply Now” button located on this page. Applicants may also submit a word document  or pdf  to the NGA Grant Team.
Mantis  and Kidsgardening.org  proudly present the 2014 Mantis Tiller Awards! For the past 18 years, this program has provided 25 tillers to gardening programs across the United States. In the past, winners have included schools, churches, correctional facilities, parks departments, youth camps, community gardens, and many others. Applications are now open. Apply Now!  Applications due March 7, 2014.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation Invites Applications for New Community Leadership Fellows Program -DEADLINE: JANUARY 10, 2014
Fellows will receive an annual $20,000 stipend over three years to engage in shared learning experiences designed to transform them into effective agents of social change….
Society for Public Health Education Accepting Applications for 2014 Marion B. Pollock Fellowship -DEADLINE: JANUARY 14, 2014. A $3,000 grant will be awarded to a talented and committed health education teacher in an elementary, middle school, or high school to support his or her master’s-level graduate study….
U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest and Open Space Program Accepting Applications
The U.S. Forest Service is accepting applications for its Community Forest Program, a $4 million grant program that supports the establishment of community forests that provide benefits such as the protection of habitat, improved water quality, opportunities for environmental education, and timber resources that contribute to economic development. Eligible applicants include local governments, federally recognized tribes and Alaskan Native Corporations, and nonprofits that are eligible to hold title to land for conservation purposes. Applications are due January 15, 2014. For more information, visit the opportunity synopsis .
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for alternative homes for runaway and homeless youth involved in the law enforcement, child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice systems. Funded transitional living programs will provide shelter, supervision, life and interpersonal skill building, career counseling, job skills, and medical care. Maternity group homes will provide the same services in addition to parenting instruction and child care. Deadline to apply: 1/15/2014. Click here  to learn more about this program.
THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for projects that will address significant disparities in perinatal health indicators, especially among non-majority populations. Three funding levels are available, along with a set-aside for rural and U.S./Mexico border applicants. Deadline: 1/17/2014. Click here  for an application package.
Environmental Leadership Program Accepting Applications for 2014 National and Regional Fellowships -DEADLINE: JANUARY 17 – JULY 1, 2014 (VARIES BY REGION)
National and regional fellowships are designed to help emerging environmental and social change leaders hone their leadership styles, improve their organization’s strategy, and strengthen their outreach to diverse constituencies….
American College Health Foundation Seeks Applications for Student Wellness Programs -DEADLINE: JANUARY 31, 2014
One $5,000 grant will be awarded in support of novel programs that address issues related to the retention and overall well-being of college students….
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Invites Applications for Midcareer Consultants Program -DEADLINE: JANUARY 25, 2014 (PRELIMINARY PROPOSALS)
The program will provide up to two grants of up to $100,000 each to mid-career scholars from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented communities working to address priorities in RWJF’s program areas….
Nominations Invited for 2014 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards  – DEADLINE: JANUARY 19, 2014
Up to fifteen teenagers in the United States who self-identify as Jewish will receive awards of $36,000 in honor of their exceptional leadership and community service….
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE is offering grants for projects that address and prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking in rural areas. Deadline to apply: 1/23/2014. Click here  for application guidelines.
THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR is offering grants to nonprofits and educational agencies for programs providing high school students with education and training that combines rigorous academic and technical curricula focused on specific in-demand occupations and industries. Deadline: 1/27/2014. Click here  to learn more about this opportunity.
THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE is offering grants to identify and evaluate solutions to water problems relating to source, storage, treatment, and distribution, and to waste disposal problems relating to collection, treatment, and disposal, and to provide training that will improve the management, operation, and maintenance of water and waste disposal facilities. Deadline: 1/31/2014. Click here  for application guidelines.
THE CAPTAIN PLANET FOUNDATION is offering funding to nonprofits and public schools for innovative programs that inspire youth to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities. An additional priority is to fund programs that encourage environment-based education in schools. Deadline: 1/31/2014. Click here  to visit the Foundation’s website for application guidelines.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for prevention and intervention activities that maximize community-based efforts and evidence-informed practices to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Deadline: 2/4/2014. For application guidelines, click here .
THE BLACKSTONE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION has funding for nonprofit organizations that show unique approaches to helping veterans either secure jobs or start their own businesses. The Request for Proposals (RFP) is intended to identify organizations that focus on providing business assistance and entrepreneurial skills for veterans. Grants of $10,000 to $50,000 will be provided in two program areas: Promoting Job Skills Development, and Advancing Veteran Business Development and Support. Deadline: 2/14/2014. Visit the Foundation’s website here to download the Veterans Grant Program RFP.
THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is also offering grants to nonprofits for High School Equivalency Program (HEP) grants to help migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their children obtain a general education diploma (GED) that meets the guidelines for high school equivalency established by the State in which the HEP project is conducted. Deadline: 2/19/2014. To see the NOFA, click here .
Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) – FY14 NOTICE OF FUNDING AVAILABILITY – Deadline February 24, 2014, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-25/pdf/2013-28175.pdf . The website, http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG.html , includes links to toolkits, information sheets on some of the possible different uses of this grant. There is a webinar for interested tribal entities. See below.
Value-Added Producer Grants for Tribal Entities, January 14, 2014, 1:00 PM-2:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
Topics: FY 14 Funding Opportunity, overview of VAPG program, Tribal entity eligibility and documentation requirements.
Who should attend: Prospective Tribal applicants, technical assistance providers, interested USDA field staff.
Conference Call Information: Toll-free number: +1 (800) 981-3173 Toll number for DC Area: +1 (202) 720-7039 Participant code: 4248
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Contact Tedd Buelow at email@example.com or 720-544-2911 for more information.
The deadline for new enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program for fiscal 2014 has been extended to Feb. 7, making it possible for more farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to apply for this important Farm Bill conservation program. Read for more information. 
Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program  – Application deadline: Feb 25, 2014
Supports the establishment and development of Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) which provide technical assistance to health care organizations, health care networks, and health care providers in the implementation of telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas and populations. Sponsor: Office for the Advancement of Telehealth
Indian Health Service Dental Externships  – Application deadline: Feb 28, 2014
Externships for dental students interested in a career with the Indian Health Service Division of Oral Health or a Tribal site. Sponsor: Indian Health Service
Sillerman Center for Advancement of Philanthropy Accepting Entries to Generous U Competition  – DEADLINE: MARCH 3, 2014
The $10,000 Sillerman prize will be awarded to a student-based project that engages a substantial number of students in charitable giving, increases philanthropic awareness and a culture of giving on campus and involves a model that can be adopted on other campuses….
THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE is offering grants to support the implementation of regional economic development strategies designed to create jobs, leverage private capital, and strengthen America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. Deadline: 3/14/2014. Click here  for application guidelines.
THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION is offering funding to public agencies, nonprofits, Institutions of Higher Education and Indian Tribes for a wide variety of planning, community development and economic development projects to improve economic conditions for low-income people in economically distressed communities. Deadline: 3/14/2014. Click here  to review funding guidelines.
Mutual of America Foundation Accepting Applications for 2014 Community Partnership Awards -DEADLINE: APRIL 1, 2014
The annual $25,000 award recognizes outstanding contributions made by nonprofit organizations, in partnership with public, private, and other social sector organizations, to society…..
THE RKG FOUNDATION invites letters of inquiry at any time through its website for programs that focus on K-12 and higher education, teacher development, literacy, community improvement, abuse prevention, youth development programs, the health and well-being of children and access to health services for the underserved. Nonprofit organizations, hospitals, and educational or governmental institutions are invited to submit a letter of inquiry. For more information, visit the website here .