Federal grants available for rural cooperatives

Federal grants offered rural cooperatives

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for grants to help rural cooperatives develop new markets for their products and services. USDA is making the grants available to non-profit corporations and institutions of higher education through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program.

USDA's Rural Cooperative Development Grant program improves economic conditions in rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve the operations of rural cooperatives and other mutually owned businesses through cooperative development centers. Other eligible grant activities include conducting feasibility studies and creating business plans.

USDA is making up to $5.8 million in grants available in fiscal year 2015. One-year grants up to $200,000 are available. In most cases, grants may be used to pay for up to 75 percent of a project's total cost. Recipients are required to match 25 percent of the award amount. Grants will be awarded prior to Sept. 30. The recipients will have one year to use the awarded funds.

The application deadline is July 30.

Information: See page 34129 of the June 15 Federal Register or contact the USDA Rural Development State Office.

Buchanan sets office hours in Manatee County

MANATEE -- Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, announced Friday his staff would hold open office hours in Manatee County this month.

Field representative Gary Tibbetts will meet with residents between 10 a.m. and noon Wednesday at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive and between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday at Rocky Bluff Library, 6750 U.S. 301, Ellenton.

Constituents with questions, comments or concerns on a federal matter can share their views or seek assistance, according to a release.

RSVP: 941-747-9081.

Shark Tank top exec will address Manatee GOP

BRADENTON -- The Republican Party of Manatee County said Javier Manjarres, managing editor of The Shark Tank, will be guest speaker 7 p.m. Monday at the Bradenton Women's Club, 1705 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

The Shark Tank reviews political news from multiple sources and offers commentary throughout the nation.

Sarasota GOP chairman to speak at Manatee Forum

MANATEE -- The Manatee Forum will welcome guest speaker Joe Gruters at 6 p.m. June 30, at the Renaissance on 9th.

Dinner costs $22.

Gruters, chairman of the Sarasota Republican Executive Committee and a candidate for the House of Representatives, will discuss ways to get a Republican in the White House. Gruters has worked with many Republican presidential candidates.

RSVP: ManateeForum@gmail.com.

-- Herald staff reports