Partner Message: Innovation Matters: Funding Opportunities, Publications, Events and Learning

USDA Launches Resource Guide for Disaster Resiliency and Recovery

USDA unveiled a resource guide as part of National Preparedness Month to help rural communities seeking disaster resiliency and recovery assistance.

Learn About Rural Development’s Key Priorities

USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that will address top challenges in rural America. Key priorities include combatting the COVID-19 pandemic; addressing the impacts of climate change; and advancing equity. For more information review the Priority Points Program Chart and visit

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Funding Opportunities for Rural Infrastructure

Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program
The U.S. Department of Commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration investment in grants to expand broadband internet access in minority communities. Application Deadline: Dec. 1, 2021

Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans and Grants
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development offers Low interest loans and need-based grants to develop affordable housing for year-round, migrant, seasonal, retired, and/or disabled domestic farm laborers. Application Deadline: Nov. 1, 2022

Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development program that provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. Application Deadline: Open

EDA American Rescue Plan Funding Programs
U.S. Department of Commerce
Economic Development Administration (EDA) offers funding to support community-led economic development to accelerate economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic while building local economies benefiting underserved communities, including Indigenous communities, rural areas and regions with economies that have historically relied on coal mining. EDA American Rescue Plan Programs Overview and ResourcesSee Various Application Deadlines Listed Below: 

Funding Opportunities for
Community and Economic Development

Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP)
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development program which provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations to help microenterprises startup/grow through a Rural Microloan Revolving Fund and provide training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs.  Application Deadline: First Quarter, September 30, 2021; Second Quarter, December 31, 2021; Third Quarter, March 31, 2022; and Fourth Quarter, June 30, 2022.

Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants
Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Grants to nonprofit organizations that provide services to improve the daily lives of people with paralysis and their caregivers with projects and initiatives that foster inclusion, community engagement, and health and wellness. Application Deadline: Oct. 14, 2021

Emergency Rural Health Care Grants
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Emergency Rural Health Care Grants are designed to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. Funding is distributed to eligible applicants through two tracks:

  • Recovery Grants provide immediate relief to address economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 emergency. Applications accepted until funds are expended.
  • Impact Grants advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural health care problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health. Application Deadline: Oct. 12, 2021

Racial Justice and Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service program available to entities for two-year projects that expand the delivery of conservation assistance to farmers who are beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers. Application Deadline: Oct. 25, 2021

Service Area Competition Funding for Health Center Program
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration offers funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to underserved populations. Application Deadline: Nov. 1, 2021

AmeriCorps VISTA Sponsoring Agency Request for Concept Papers
This national service program provides resources and staffing for organizations and agencies working to alleviate poverty and address poverty-related problems in local communities. Application Deadline: Nov. 3, 2021

Refugee Microenterprise Development Program
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Refugee Resettlement offers funding to eligible applicants to assist refugees become economically self-sufficient by establishing microenterprise businesses and building/repairing credit history. Application Deadline: May 10, 2022

Funding Opportunities for Tribal Communities

Strong Systems, Stronger Communities: Strengthening Tribal Public Health Systems
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Indian Health Board funding and technical assistance for projects designed to build the public health capacity of tribes. Application Deadline: Sept. 24, 2021

Native Agriculture and Food Systems College Scholarship Program
First Nations Development Institute
Scholarships for Native American students to enter careers in agriculture and agriculture-related fields with the ultimate goal of increasing food production, improving health and nutrition and eliminating food insecurity in rural and reservation-based communities. Application Deadline: Sept. 30, 2021

Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples: Thriving Women Program
Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples
Grants support grassroots projects that empower indigenous women-led work to prevent violence against women and girls plus nurture healthy and thriving native peoples and families. Application Deadline: Oct. 16, 2021

Indian Community Development Block Grant Imminent Threat Funding Under the
American Rescue Plan Act

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD Office of Native American Programs funds for tribes and tribal organizations to be used for emergencies that constitute imminent threats to health and safety and designed to prevent or respond to coronavirus. Application Deadline: Oct. 18, 2021

Indian Housing Block Grant Program
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
This funding will help to develop, maintain or operate affordable housing on American Indian reservations/other American Indian areas and to administer affordable housing related activities that benefit low-income families. Application Deadline: Dec. 1, 2021

Publications and Resources

Single Family Housing Loan Opportunities
USDA Rural Development offers funding to build, repair or refinance your rural home. Also available in Español.

U.S. Department of Labor launches its Spanish-language translation of, a website dedicated to informing workers of their rights and federal workplace protections.

Nurse Shortage Hits Rural Hospitals Hard
Pew Charitable reports on issues facing state health officials and the strategies and incentives used to hire more help.

USDA’s Community Facilities Program May Help Rural America Cope with COVID-19
This article analyzes the USDA Community Facilities Program’s assistance to health-care related services and facilities for the period between 2016 and 2020.

NWR/NFH: America The Beautiful Act Narratives
National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries Narratives leads to a 2.1 million acre expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities resulting from America the Beautiful Initiative.

Rural Communities: One Year Post COVID-19
This recorded Council on Food, Agriculture, and Resource Economics webinar examines multiple impacts of the pandemic as well as the effects of selected federal policies designed to mitigate its adverse impacts on employment and job loss trends, impacts on agriculture and influences on other specific sectors of the economy, including tourism, childcare, banking, broadband and health care facilities.

Events and Learning Opportunities

USDA Rural Development Events:

9/16: RWIN Workshop: Using Placemaking as a Tool to Recruit and Retain the Rural Workforce
Learn about resources to help rural communities recruit and retain talent using placemaking activities to support the rural workforce.

10/5: Agriculture Innovation Center Program Listening Session
USDA seeks input on ways to make it easier for rural businesses to produce and market value-added agricultural products.

10/6: Value-Added Producer Grants Program Listening Session 
USDA seeks input on ways to better help rural businesses and agricultural producers develop and market new products.

Find past workshop recordings at the USDA Rural Development YouTube Channel.

Other Learning Opportunities:

9/16: Working Through Status with Immigrant Families
The Migration Policy Institute estimates that at least 14.4 million families in the United States have complex, mixed immigration status, where some family members are citizens or permanent residents and others lack formal documentation.

9/21: Cleaning the Chain Workshop 
The Center for Sustainable Infrastructure and CleanTech Alliance talk with supply chain innovators about tackling not only pollution from their direct operations but from the bigger, broader challenge of their global supply chains.

9/22: Climate & Outdoor Recreation // Civilian Climate Corps.
Join this Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals event to discuss what’s on the horizon, where there is alignment with outdoor recreation and potential steps to implementation.

9/22, 9/23: NTIA Grant Program: Connecting Minority Communities Webinars

9/29: A Center for Indian Country Development Policy Webinar Series
This webinar series will explore tribal taxation.

10/12: Pathways to Prevention Public Workshop 
National Institutes of Health will identify ways to improve rural health through telehealth-guided provider-to-provider communication.

Quick Links to COVID-19 Recovery Resources

To access programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, download the COVID-19 Federal RuralResource Guide.

Visit for the latest news from the CDC on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Visit for the latest news from Rural Development on how we are helping our partners, customers, and stakeholders impacted by COVID-19.

Newsletters, websites and emails from which we gather this information include:

  • USDA Rural Development’s full Catalog of Programs
  • USDA Rural Development’s NOSA/NOFAs
  • USDA Rural Development’s Search All Programs
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The Aspen Institute
  • e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
  • Pew Research Center
  • Philanthropy News Digest
  • Rural LISC e-newsletter
  • National Association of Development Organization
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