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5/2/2016 12:00 AM
The Federal Railroad Administration has announced $25 million in competitive grants to increase rail safety.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced $25 million in competitive grants to increase rail safety.

The Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvements Grant Program can fund safety improvements to railroad infrastructure, but the focus of a project must be safety improvements, the department said in a release. This includes the acquisition, improvement or rehabilitation of intermodal facilities; improvements to track, bridges and tunnels; upgrades to railroad crossings; and the separation of railroad crossings and roads.

“As the country’s population increases, rail will play a larger role in transporting more people and more freight.  To do that safely, we must invest in our rail infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement.  “These funds will help address some of the improvements that are essential for safe, reliable, and efficient railroad operations, and I encourage applications that achieve the maximum benefits possible with this limited funding.”

Eligible applicants include local governments, states and railroads, DOT said.

The deadline for applications is June 14, 2016.

To learn more, visit http://www.grants.gov and search FON# FR-SIP-16-001.

4/25/2016 12:00 AM
$12 million is now available for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through the Community Connect Program.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced $12 million in funding for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through its Community Connect Program, which is administered by U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service and supports broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not economically viable for private sector providers to provide service.

"Through Community Connect and our other telecommunications programs, USDA helps to ensure that rural residents have access to broadband to run businesses, get the most from their education and benefit from the infinite services that fast, reliable broadband provides," Secretary Vilsack said in a release. "USDA is committed to supporting America's rural communities through targeted investments in our bioeconomy and renewable energy, local and regional food systems, conservation initiatives and rural development."

The grants fund broadband infrastructure to help foster economic growth by delivering connectivity to the global marketplace and also support broadband for community centers and public institutions, USDA said.

Up to $11.7 million in grants will be available through the program, the department said, for awards ranging from $100,000 to $3 million in FY2016.

Eligible applicants include colleges and universities; for-profit organizations; nonprofit organizations; and state, local and Native American tribal governments; among others

The deadline to apply is June 17, 2016.

To learn move, visit grants.gov and search FON# RDRUS-CC-2016.

4/18/2016 12:00 AM

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced up to $44 million for farmers, ranchers and businesses to develop new bio-based products and expand markets through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced up to $44 million for farmers, ranchers and businesses to develop new bio-based products and expand markets through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.

“America’s farmers, ranchers and rural business owners are innovative entrepreneurs and this program helps them grow economic opportunities for their families and communities by increasing the value of the items they produce,” Vilsack said in a release. “The Value-Added Producer Grant program has a great track record of helping producers increase the value of products and expand their markets and customer base, strengthening rural America in the process.”

The USDA said in a statement that Value-Added Producer Grants may be used to develop new products and create additional uses for existing ones. Priority for these grants is given to veterans, members of socially disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, and operators of small and medium-sized family farms and ranches, the department said.

Eligible applicants include independent producers, agriculture producer groups, majority-controlled business ventures and farmer or rancher cooperatives.

The deadline to submit paper applications is July 1, 2016. Electronic applications submitted through grants.gov are due June 24, 2016.

To learn more, visit www.grants.gov and search FON# RDBCP-VAPG-2016.

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