1890 Land Grant Institutions Rural Entrepreneurial Outreach Program

To encourage 1890 Institutions to provide technical assistance for business creation in economically challenged rural communities, to conduct educational programs that develop and improve upon the professional skills of rural entrepreneurs, and to provide outreach and promote USDA Rural Development programs
in small rural communities with the greatest economic need.
Examples of Funded Projects

Cooperative Agreement funds were used to fund outreach initiatives including technical assistance in economic and community development, feasibility studies, research, market development, loan packaging, conducting workshops and seminars in the area of business and economic development, and developing and providing access to computer technology and website development to the targeted population and communities.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - Contact the appropriate RD State Office or check the website noted in this announcement.

Email: CPGrants@wdc.usda.gov.

Program Accomplishments

Not available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Rural Development cooperative agreements with the 1890 Institutions must be used to strengthen the capacity of rural communities to undertake innovative, comprehensive, citizen led, long-term strategies for community and economic development.

Only one application or proposal per 1890 institution per year will be accepted.

Recognized outreach efforts to promote Rural Development programs in targeted underserved rural communities include, but are not limited to: (a) business startup and related technical assistance; seminars and workshops for small businesses; (b) development of management and technical assistance plans that: (1) assess small business alternatives to traditional agriculture; (2) assist in the development of business plans or loan packages, marketing, or bookkeeping; (3) assist and train small businesses in customer relations, product development, or business planning and development; (c) feasibility studies; (d) advice and recommendations regarding best practices in community economic development; (e) the conduct of seminars to stimulate business and economic development; and (f) developing computer technology outreach and establishing and maintaining a computer network system, linking community leaders and residents to available economic development information.

Rural Development funds may be used to pay up to 75 percent of the costs for carrying out relevant projects.

Applicants' contributions (matching 25 percent) may be in cash or in-kind contributions but must be from non-Federal funds.

The applicant and assigned personnel must also have expertise and experience in providing the recommended assistance.

Applicants should also have a previous record of successful implementation of similar projects and must have the expertise in the use of electronic network technologies and/or a business information system network website.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

1890 Land Grant Institutions and Tuskegee University (1890 Institutions).

Beneficiary Eligibility

The 1890 REOD Initiative is limited to residents located in a rural area as defined in 7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13) with economic need. Location in an Empowerment Zone, Enterprise Community, Champion Community, Federally-recognized Tribal Indian groups or other Federally declared economic depressed or disaster area is sufficient evidence of economic need. Eligible beneficiaries must also be located in communities that show significant community support for the proposal. Preference will be given for projects that operate in a multi-county service area. See annual notice of funding availability for details.


Eligible applicants are 1890 Land Grant Institutions and Tuskegee University. Eligible applicants must provide matching funds equal to at least 25 percent of the amount provided by Rural Development in the cooperative agreement. See annual notice of funding availability for details.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Applicants are encouraged to submit applications electronically through Grants.gov.

Applicants must follow the instructions given at "http://www.grants.gov" website.

Applicants are advised to visit the site well in advance of the application deadline if they plan to apply electronically to insure that they have obtained the proper authentication and have sufficient computer resources to complete the application.

To obtain paper application instructions and all required forms, contact Rural Development--Cooperative Programs, USDA.

The application forms and instructions may be requested via e-mail (edgar.lewis@wdc.usda.gov) and are also located on the Business and Cooperative Programs website noted later in this announcement.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.

Application Procedures

Submit (1) Form SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance; (2) Form SF-424A, Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs; (3) Form SF-424B, Assurances--Non-construction Programs; (4) Form AD-1047, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension and other Responsibility Matters; (5) Form AD-1049, Certification Regarding Drug Free Workplace Requirements (6) Form SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities; and, (7) other information as requested by the annual Request For Proposals. See annual solicitation in the Federal Register for specific procedures.

Award Procedures

The 1890s Institutions must submit their application to the Rural Development-Cooperative Programs National Office where it will be reviewed and scored on a competitive basis as described in the annual solicitation for proposals. If selected for an award, the applicant must complete the objectives as defined in the approved proposal.


Annual deadline as published in the Federal Register.


7 U.S.C. 2204b(b)(4) and Executive Order 13256 (February 12, 2002), President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 120 days after solicitation closes and application is filed with the Rural Development-Cooperative Programs.


Applicants may appeal any adverse decisions to the National Appeals Division.


This program is conducted annually and requires a new application and competition each year. Hence, renewals are not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Federal funds may be used to pay up to 75 percent of the costs for carrying out relevant projects. Applicants' contributions may be in cash or in-kind contributions and must be from non-Federal funds.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Matching funds must be spent in proportion to the spending of funds received from the cooperative agreement. All awards are for one year from the beginning of the performance period as specified in the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Post Assistance Requirements


Progress reports must be submitted to Rural Development--Cooperative Programs National Office on a quarterly basis.

A final report must be submitted to Rural Development--Cooperative Programs National Office within 90 days following the end of the performance period.

All reports forwarded to Rural Development--Cooperative Programs National Office must also be forwarded to the Rural Development State Office.

Upon request by Rural Development--Cooperative Programs National Office, the recipient will deliver manuscripts, videotapes, software, or other media, as may be identified in approved proposals.

Recipients will deliver project outreach success stories and other project related information requested by Rural Development--Cooperative Programs National Office for use on the website.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular A-133. Those non-Federal entities exempt from Circular A-133 will be audited by the Rural Development State Office.


The recipient will maintain adequate records and accounts to assure that agreement funds are used for authorized purposes. Records will also be maintained by the Rural Development--Cooperative Programs National Office National Office and RD Budget Office according to USDA and Agency record-keeping requirements.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $1,500,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported. (NOTE: Program funds are discretionary in nature and funding decisions are made during the third quarter of the fiscal year. Cooperative Agreements for technical assistance with 1890 Institutions totaled the following amounts in the year indicated.)

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Cooperative Agreements awarded typically range from $75,000 to $100,000 and average $136,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR 3015; 7 CFR 3017; 7 CFR 3018; 7 CFR 3019; 7 CFR 3021; and, 7 CFR 3052. NOTE: Executive Order 13256 (February 12, 2002), President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Please see all details in the annual program notice of funding availability in the Federal Register.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Contact the appropriate RD State Office or check the website noted in this announcement. Email: CPGrants@wdc.usda.gov.

Headquarters Office

Edgar L. Lewis, Rural Development 1890 Land Grant Outreach Manager, Cooperative Programs, Business and Cooperative Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Stop 3252, Washington, DC 20250 3252. Telephone: (202) 690-3407.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Each application will be evaluated in a two-part process. First, each application will be screened to ensure that it meets the administrative requirements as set forth in a Notice of Request for Proposals. Second, a number of expert reviewers will conduct a merit review based on the "Evaluation Criteria and Weights" section of the Notice of Request for Proposals as published in the Federal Register.

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