In-Brief

USDA opens grant cycle for better rural educational, health services

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack (Credit: Wikipedia.org) USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack (Credit: Wikipedia.org)

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday the agency 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 Grant Program.” The agency

“With access to the latest technology, America’s rural citizens can compete in today’s global economy,” Vilsack said. “These Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants will modernize equipment and improve healthcare services and educational opportunities for residents in remote areas. They will help generate jobs in small towns and revitalize rural economies.

Meanwhile, José Otero-García, Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, said the USDA may provide up to $17.5 million nationwide in grants.

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. Awards range up to $500,000.

Completed applications must be received by August 12, 2013. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see the notice published on page 38915 of the June 28, 2013 Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-06-28/html/2013-15597.htm.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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