Rural Development Funds Available

USDA is seeking applications for grants to help rural businesses create jobs and spur economic development. USDA Rural Development plans to award up to 8.6-million dollars through the Rural Community Development Initiative program. The deadline for submitting applications is May 9, 2012. Applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development state office where the applicant's headquarters are located.

Applications are sought for projects that: provide technical assistance to improve the capacity of local organizations to complete successful housing, economic development and community facilities projects; help recipients complete pre-development requirements such as architectural and engineering plans; help development organizations improve their board operations, management and knowledge of financial and information technology systems; and provide homeownership education or training for entrepreneurs.

Currently, North Carolina is fifth in the nation in utilization of these funds. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.