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Innovation Matters, Educational Opportunities, February 15, 2023


Events and Learning

USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) hosts two listening sessions. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) (Pub. L. 117-58) provided the RUS Telecommunications Program with support for technical assistance and pre-development planning. RUS received additional funding for these purposes in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Pub. L. 117-328). RUS wants to hear from you! Join the conversation:

  • 2/23: Broadband Technical Assistance for Rural Communities- To solicit valuable insight into the challenges communities face in gaining broadband access, the types of technical assistance resources that would best serve these communities and how RUS can best provide support.
  • 2/28: Broadband Technical Assistance Providers- To solicit input on the opportunities available to provide technical assistance for rural communities, the barriers to deliver these services and how RUS can help providers overcome these barriers.

Ag Outlook Forum Graphic

2/23-24: USDA’s 99th Annual: Agricultural Outlook Forum

2/28: CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Bonds & Food Systems

Various: Getting the Grant: Applying for Appalachian Regional Commission Funding Opportunities | ARISE, INSPIRE and POWER

  • 2/23: Belden, Mississippi
  • 2/28: Knoxville, Tennessee
  • 3/2: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Rural Data Gateway

Innovation Matters, Educational Opportunities 01/19/2023

Throughout January: Inflation Reduction Act Round Tables with USDA Rural Utilities Service. Check the Events Link on this website for your best fit. Past USDA RD IRA webinars are also available to review.

1/25 & 1/27: USDA RD Presents: Introduction to Build America, Buy America Act. On February 3, 2023, all non-Federal entities receiving USDA Rural Development federal financial assistance for infrastructure projects must comply with the Build America, Buy America Act.

Register: 1/25 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, 1/27 11:00 a.m. Eastern or 1/27 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern

2/15: Housing Solutions in Rural Recreation Communities - EPA’s Office of Community Revitalization, USDA RD, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) address housing in gateway communities.

Ag Outlook Forum

2/23-24: 2023 Agricultural Outlook Forum

Recorded: USDA AMS Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program

Recorded: USDA: Composting and Food Waste Reduction Cooperative Agreements 

Recorded: NIFA Food Safety Outreach Program FY 2023 RFA Technical Assistance Webinar

Innovation Matters, Educational Opportunities 12/20/2022


Resources and Publications

USDA RD Featured Success Story:

'Going the Extra Mile' to Provide Post-Pandemic Health Services

USDA Rural Development supported the Harvest Outreach Center in Rustburg, Va., with funding from two Emergency Rural Healthcare grants to address lost revenue and increase the organization’s capacity to provide services. A new fleet of vehicles will be used to transport youth to mental health and summer feeding programs as well as deliver computers for virtual treatments and wireless routers that act as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. Read more USDA RD success stories!

Public Health AmeriCorps AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joined forces to launch this program designed to support the recruitment, training and development of the next generation of public health leaders. Apply by January 4, 2023. See the Public Health AmeriCorps Technical Assistance webinar session and the Public Health AmeriCorps External Communications Toolkit for more information.

Project for Public Spaces Placemaking Booklet Learn all about placemaking! Free resource offered from Project for Public Spaces to help more people learn about placemaking, its benefits and the principles underlying the process.



Recorded: Centering Indigenous Values in Outdoor Recreation Series - SORP's recent training series on how Indigenous values and Traditional Ecological Knowledge are brought into outdoor recreation planning and management by Indigenous and non-Indigenous outdoor recreation professionals. Future events:


1/25: FEMA Resilient Nation Partner Network 2023 Kickoff - Stories of Resilience and Storytelling Training

2/11-14: The National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference

4/1-4: American Planning Association National Conference: Join in to tackle critical issues facing planners including climate change, housing, health equity and the future of work

Innovation Matter Educational Opportunities November 21. 2022


Resources and Publications

Come to the Table: Bringing Healthcare and Nutrition Together
USDA gathered with partners at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to forge a future without hunger and health disparities to build momentum from the Come to the Table: USDA’s National Nutrition Security and Healthcare Summit where leaders came together to advance goals of ensuring all Americans have the resources necessary to eat nutritious foods that support good health.

RFI: Opportunities and Challenges in Federal Community Investment Programs
This Request for Information (RFI) offers the public the opportunity to provide information on effective approaches for supporting access to affordable capital and financial services in historically underserved communities, including communities of color, rural and Tribal communities. The Interagency Community Investment Committee (ICIC) is focused on the operations and execution of federal programs that facilitate the flow of capital and the provision of financial resources into historically underserved communities. Comments Due By: 12/5/2022

Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) and Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) entered into a Collaborative Workforce Development Agreement
This agreement advances workforce education and training for the broadband communications industry to promote both associations’ workforce development programs: the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program that is nationally sponsored by WIA for broadband and 5G technicians and the Fiber Broadband Association’s Optical Telecom Installer Certification (OpTIC Path™) program that trains fiber technicians. Together they move to promote Registered Apprenticeship, develop world-class curriculum, establish industry-recognized credentials and certifications, and articulate career pathways.

Cooperative Success Story USDA RD Featured Success Story:
Real Pickles Cooperative of Massachusetts
RD assisted with the effort, providing $20,000 through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The 18.06kWH PV Solar System on the roof of the business was installed by neighboring worker owned solar co-op, PV Squared, and replaced 100 percent of the pickle co-op’s energy needs at that time. Read more RD success stories!

USDA Names new Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge Awards (RPIC)
USDA awards RPIC cooperative agreements to 17 rural focused organizations. Placemaking is a collaborative planning and technical assistance process that helps leaders create quality places where people will want to live, work, visit and learn.

Find Shelter Tool
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s offers this tool to provide information about housing, shelter, health care and clothing resources in communities across the country.



12/7: Creative Placemaking Technical Assistance Program - Presented as part of the Creative Placemaking Technical Assistance Program, led by the National Endowment for the Arts and Local Initiatives Support Corporation

12/7 through 12/9: Rural Seminar on Workforce & Small Business 2022 by Rural LISC.

12/13: Tools for Economic Growth with Treasury and SBA, Council of Development Finance Agencies

Recorded: Tribal Food Sovereignty a Focus of NAFDPIR Conference: When you recognize the food on your plate, you recall memories of sharing meals with loved ones. 

Recorded: SCORE - 12 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs & Your Marketing Roadmap - Content, Publicity and Personal Branding



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