Broadband, rural business support announced by USDA

The USDA recently announced funding for rural broadband projects.
The USDA recently announced funding for rural broadband projects.
Communities that make their living through using farm equipment may be eligible to get funding from the government to further improve their economies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a number of awards were granted through two federal initiatives dealing with these efforts. One involves funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for broadband expansion, and the other comes by way of the Rural Business Opportunity Grants program.

The funds help rural communities come together at the regional level to attract broadband investment and then use that access for economic development. The RBOG also supports wider planning focused on improving these areas' economic base.

"Helping communities come together to address their needs regionally and collaboratively will mean a more efficient use of scarce federal resources," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Last year, representatives from the Obama administration embarked on a tour of rural communities. Along the way, meetings were held with residents regarding broadband access. Attendees were also given the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding communications between their regions and Washington, D.C.