Anchorage, Oct 26, 2011 -- Contact:
Larry Yerich, Public Information Coordinator
(907) 271-2424 ext. 125
USDA-RD to Fund Rural Cooperative Development Grant for the
University of Alaska Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, October 26, 2011 – USDA-Rural Development Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced the University of Alaska Anchorage will receive funding in the amount of $225,000 to improve economic conditions in Alaska by working to establish new cooperatives and providing technical assistance to strengthen existing ones.
“These grants help cooperatives support local projects and initiatives that create jobs and improve rural economic conditions,” Nordlund said. As we celebrate National Cooperative Month, USDA-RD is proud to continue its support of local and regional efforts to bolster these cooperatives and help them bring increased value and economic opportunity to rural residents.”
The grant is being provided through USDA-RD’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant program. Under this program, grants of up to $225,000 may be awarded to colleges, universities and non-profit groups to create and operate centers that help individuals or groups establish, expand or operate rural businesses, especially cooperatives and mutually-owned businesses.
Grants may be used to conduct feasibility studies, create and implement business plans, and help businesses develop new markets for their products and services. Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage Tom Case said, “As Chancellor, I encourage programs that are innovative and collaborative. We are happy to receive another Rural Cooperative Development Grant from the USDA-RD. Under previous grants we have helped more than five groups form cooperatives and aided numerous others with cooperative development best practices. With this year's grant we will support groups forming food, renewable energy, agricultural and seafood marketing cooperatives and introduce more groups to the cooperative business model.”
Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care.
In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America's rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining, and thriving economically.
USDA-Rural Development administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
For more information, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov