USDA Seeks Applications to Increase Rural Access to Education, Training and Health Care

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USDA Seeks Applications to Increase Rural Access to Education, Training and Health Care

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director for Rural Development John Rounsaville today announced that USDA is accepting applications for grants to help increase access to education, training and health care resources in rural communities.

   USDA is making $71.7 million in grants available under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program. This program helps rural communities use telecommunications-based audio and video equipment to connect teachers, students, medical providers and rural residents with each other and the world.

   Applicants in rural areas of 20,000 people or less who provide education or health care services through telecommunications facilities are eligible to apply. Applications will be scored, reviewed and selected on a competitive basis.

   Examples of projects funded in Mississippi last year:

  • Mississippi State University received an award of $488,315. This investment will enable Mississippi State University to enhance online educational opportunities across rural Mississippi. 
  • Mississippi Community College Board received an award of $319,343. The Community College Board is purchasing virtual reality equipment that will be used to prepare students for careers in coding, programming, and software development.
  • Covington County School District received an award of $480,628. This project will assist teachers in providing improved STEM curriculum and access to fixed site interactive video systems and touch panels to create an environment for sharing and collaboration between project sites.
  • Coahoma Community College received an award $200,000. Coahoma Community College will install a distance learning system to connect the college to high schools in Coahoma, Tallahatchie, and Quitman counties to provide career-focused programs.
  • Base Camp Coding Academy received an award of $492,131. This investment will allow Base Camp Coding Academy to connect the NW Mississippi Community College campus in Senatobia with the rural communities of Yalobusha and Tate Counties using Distance Learning capabilities, expanding access to workforce or higher-education training.

  Applications must be submitted to the applicant’s nearest USDA office or electronically via by April, 10, 2020. For more information, visit