USDA: nearly $400k in grants for tribal colleges | TSLN.com

USDA: nearly $400k in grants for tribal colleges

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today announced $9.7 million in grants to 62 community-based and non-profit organizations, and educational institutions to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance, including $390,851 for South Dakota tribal community colleges.

"Our nation's farmers and ranchers are diverse in experience, background and knowledge, giving us the tools we need to build a resilient agricultural system," said Secretary Vilsack. "Today's announcement is part of our ongoing commitment to identify, recruit and train a vibrant next generation of farmers and ranchers who can carry American agriculture into the future. It is also part of our pledge to assist military veterans find economic opportunity as they return to civilian life."

The funds were made available through the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities program. South Dakota recipients are: Oglala Lakota College in Kyle will receive $145,302, Sinte Gleska University in Mission will receive $120,000, and Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC) in Sisseton will receive $125,549.

Oglala Lakota College will use the funds to purchase equipment and for renovations in nine instructional centers.

Sinte Gleska University will use the funds to purchase student buses.

Sisseton Wahpeton College will use the funds to enhance the SWC facility by providing funding for student housing.

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Secretary Vilsack made today's announcement at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference, a gathering of leaders from the country's 566 federally recognized Tribes. The 2501 Program primarily partners with Historically Black Land Grant Universities (1890 Land Grant Institutions), Native American Land Grant Tribal Colleges and Universities (1994 Land Grant Institutions), Hispanic-Serving Institutions of higher education, and community-based and non-profit organizations that work with minority and veteran farmers and ranchers.

USDA has made significant investments in economic development, housing and infrastructure projects benefiting American Indians and Alaska Natives. More information is available at http://www.usda.gov/tribalrelations.

Today's announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life.

–U.S. Department of Agriculture