Illinois Farm Bureau is launching a new Rural Development Grant Program to support rural development projects that will positively impact Farm Bureau members and other rural Illinois residents.
The grants, which will total $25,000-$30,000, will be provided to support county Farm Bureaus, local communities and/or counties, with projects that meet a need in a community, county or rural area.
Aligning with Illinois Farm Bureau policy and local government priorities, the pilot program aims to elevate and provide additional focus on rural development. The program will provide resources, tools and support to help local communities and counties overcome challenges inherent in rural development projects, such as lack of funding and volunteers as well as complicated grant applications.
Grant funding could be used toward projects focused on attracting businesses, fostering entrepreneurship, improving infrastructure and broadband, increasing healthcare access, expanding recreational opportunities, increasing available housing, developing tourism, community beautification, revitalizing community spirit/engagement, enhancing emergency services or other projects that positively impact farmers and residents.
A few key highlights of the grant program include:
- This first year is a pilot program to determine interest/demand and evaluate the impact/success of the grants.
- IFB will award a total of $25,000-$30,000. There is no minimum or maximum grant amount, but the intent is to award multiple grants. Funding will flow through the county Farm Bureaus.
- The grant program will use a rolling application process. Applications can be submitted at any time and grants will be awarded until all funds have been exhausted.
- County Farm Bureaus are not required to lead the rural development projects but can partner with local government officials, economic development organizations or other entities. There is an expectation for the county Farm Bureau to be engaged in and supportive of the project.
- Projects connected to a community/county strategic plan are ideal. If a community/county would like to develop a strategic plan, grant funding is also available to support that process.
For more information, contact your county Farm Bureau or visit ilfb.org/RDgrants.
This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.