Ag News

USDA launches rural broadband grant program

On April 13 the USDA announced it is accepting applications for grants to use broadband e-Connectivity to improve access to health care and educational services in rural communities.

 USDA is awarding grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program. Grants can finance projects such as those to provide job training, academic instruction or access to specialized medical care. For more about the DLT program visit http://bit.ly/USDADLTLM. Proposals for projects whose primary purpose is to provide opioid prevention, treatment and recovery will receive 10 priority points when applications are scored. USDA is approaching the opioid misuse crisis with a dedicated urgency because it impacts the quality of life, economic opportunity and rural prosperity.

USDA also will provide priority points for grants that offer access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses. Grants are available to most state and local governmental entities, federally recognized tribes, nonprofit groups and for-profit businesses.

The application deadline is June 4. Applications can be submitted via paper or electronically. For details on how to apply, see page 14245 of the April 3 Federal Register at http://bit.ly/FR14245.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, community services such as schools, public safety and health care, and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

In Georgia, contact the Rural Utilities Service Telecom General Field Representative for information and to apply:  Andrew Hayes, 9838 Old Baymeadows Road, #165, Jacksonville, FL 32256; andrew.hayes@wdc.usda.gov or (770) 312-7073.