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USDA Announces $2.6 Million in Grants for Infrastructure and Economic Development Projects on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, S.D., Sept. 29, 2015 - Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded $2.6 million in grants for seven projects to support economic development and improve the economy on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

"Investing in and rebuilding hard-hit communities are important parts of this Administration's plan to ensure that every child has a fair chance at success," Vilsack said. "Working in conjunction with our public and private partners, USDA is supporting much-needed infrastructure and economic development improvements to help create jobs, improve access to education opportunities and quality, affordable housing, and reduce crime throughout the Pine Ridge community."

The projects being financed by USDA Rural Development include:

Also, USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture is providing:

  • $375,000 for a Community Food Projects grant to the Thunder Valley Development Corporation to strengthen food sovereignty on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The project will enhance local food systems through an agriculture demonstration farm and education center that will include a community garden, greenhouse, food education program and workforce development training for local farmers. It also will establish a local food coalition to expand local, healthy food distribution systems to food outlets on the reservation.

Funding of each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.

In April 2015, the Obama Administration designated the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe one of eight new Promise Zones. Promise Zones are high-poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, reduce violent crime, enhance public health and address other community-identified priorities.

USDA Rural Development in South Dakota has offices in Aberdeen, Huron, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton. For more information, visit the USDA Rural Development website at

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.


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