USDA Rural Development Grants Assistance Program

If you’re looking for a way to improve your rural area, the USDA rural development grants may be your answer. That said, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) offers much more than just grants.

You can find various programs that are designated to boost the development of rural areas in United States. For now, let’s focus on the grant opportunities, shall we?


USDA Rural Development Grant Assistance

USDA Rural Development Grants Opportunities

So, USDA Rural Development grants are very helpful for the society. Besides, USDA has been investing through grant, loan guarantee, and loan programs. In addition, the organization has very strong commitment to support a strong community. The resources they bring to the rural communities can help to improve the economic prosperity.

They have some programs to expand, from internet with high speed, electric, business growth, transportation infrastructure, and many other important programs for the community. Below are some of the USDA rural development grants available for each State in the United States:

Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP)

Trough the FSMIP program, the USDA provides funds that are available for each State’s relevant agencies that are related to US food and agricultural products. The fund is divided to each State’s Department of Agriculture, Experiment Stations, etc. The purpose of the program is to search for new marketing opportunities for US food and agricultural product. Also, this program will encourage research that may improve the marketing system.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program  (SCBGP)

The SCBGP is another USDA rural development grants that focuses on the improvement of US specialty crops, which include tree nuts, dried fruits, nursery crops, etc. You can find more information for the grant program from the department or agency that is responsible for your State’s agriculture affairs.

The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FSMIP)

This program specifically aims to improve the direct market opportunities that may include the improvement and expansion of domestic farmer markets, agricultural programs, roadside stands, etc.

Housing Assistance

You can also use USDA rural development grant for housing assistance. In fact, the USDA provide a specific program for this. The homeownership opportunities are provided for people in rural areas that have low to moderate income. There are two major categories, which are the housing for individuals and housing for development opportunities. The Housing for Individuals is available for US citizen living in rural areas that has low income, are elderly or disabled. Nonprofit organizations, private corporations, or local government may apply for the Housing Development Opportunities to build or renovate multi-family housing complexes or other community-based facilities.

These are some of the grants available from the USDA. There are several other grants that we can’t possibly explain one by one in this post. For example, the USDA Business and Cooperative Programs offer several grants, which include:

  • Rural Energy for America Program Grants (REAP)
  • Repowering Assistance Program (Section 9004)
  • Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program (RBEG)
  • Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels Payments to Advanced Biofuel Producers (Section 9005)

Business Program

Business programs offer financial and technical support to strengthen the business growth and creation. The programs are available from partnerships with public and also private community. For example, organizations and financial institutions. So, these program provides business development, financial help, and technical support to rural businesses.

Besides, these programs will offer capital, space, job, equipment, and entrepreneurial skill to start or grow a business. Business programs will also support the preservation and creation of quality jobs in the rural locations.

Loans, grants, and loan guarantees are available to businesses, farmers, individuals, public organizations, ranchers, and many other in the rural communities. The financial resources are from some public or private lenders to cover business needs in underserved areas. Here are some available business programs from USDA:


The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program offers funding for rural activities under the local utility organizations. It is important to know that the USDA gives zero-interest loans. The local utilities will pass through to the local businesses (ultimate recipients) for activities that will create and retain employment in rural areas.

RISE Grants

The Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grant Program has grant assistance. The goal is to create and support the high-wage jobs, to accelerate the formation of new businesses, and to support industry clusters. Besides, it will maximize the local productive assets in the low-income rural areas.

Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant

This agency provides grants for public organizations and private nonprofit corporations in states, townships, cities, or counties, and many more. The purpose is to give associations Technical Assistance or training related to important facilities programs in the community.

The Technical Assistance or training will help communities, Indian Tribes, and also Nonprofit Corporations. This way will identify and plan for any community facility needs in their area. Once the needs have been identified, then the Grantee could help in identifying private and public resources. So, they will fund the special facility needs that have been identified in the community.

This program is only for public organization, non-profit organizations, and federally recognized tribes. The rural areas are villages, cities, towns, and other Federally recognized lands. The grant award is $150,000 maximum. The funds are limited and awarded through a very competitive process.

In this program, matching funds are not required, but there is a preference for the application using cash matching funds. It is important to know that you cannot use in-kind contributions as matching funds. Partnerships with state, nonprofit entities, local, private, and federal organizations are encouraged.


As we have mentioned earlier in our post, the USDA provides various program assistance for people in rural areas. Aside of the grant opportunities, the USDA also offers technical assistance, research material support, educational material support, direct or guaranteed loans, housing program, etc. You can visit the USDA official site to learn more about these programs.

I am personally amazed by the dedication and commitment of the USDA to improve the standard of living for people in rural areas across the United States. Hopefully this post about USDA rural development grants can help you find what you need.

Reference :

  • United States Department of Agriculture :
  • Grants for Nonprofits : Farm or Rural Development :
  • Specialty Crop Block Grant Program :
  • Federal State Marketing Improvement Program :
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