Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said: "America's rural communities have incredible potential to create jobs and expand economic opportunities. Many rural businesses and organizations are succeeding under the cooperative business model, and with access to additional resources, they can boost job creation and create an environment where more products are made in rural America. The funding USDA is announcing today will provide the critical training and technical assistance rural cooperatives and non-profit groups need to help strengthen America's 'Main Street' businesses."
Recipients can use the grants "for feasibility studies, strategic planning, leadership and operations training and business plan development," says USDA. "Recipients are required to contribute matching funds that equal 25 percent of total project costs." For a full list of grant recipients click here.