August 2019 – Volume XVII — Number 9
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at:



Agricultural Health and Safety Special Project and Pilot Study Funds (Mini-grant Program) Funding to support small-scale projects and pilot studies that address prevention of childhood agricultural disease and injury. Application Deadline: August 19, 2019.

Capital Magnet Fund Grants to finance affordable housing and community revitalization efforts that benefit low-income people and communities. Application Deadline: August 26, 2019.

AgriSafe Nurse Scholar Program   A distance learning opportunity available to rural nurses designed to increase knowledge base in prevention, identification, and assessment of diseases related to agricultural work exposures. A 50% nonprofit registration rate is available for nurses working for nonprofit organizations, Rural Health Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, government agencies, and educational institutions.  Application Deadline: Aug 28, 2019.

USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for loans and grants to develop housing for year-round and migrant or seasonal domestic farm laborers.  The funding may be used to construct off-farm rental housing for domestic farm laborers. Deadline: 8/30/2019.  Click here for funding guidelines and to apply.

— Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has announced the 2019 round of funding for the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation, which provides funding for the Program, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides technical assistance and manages the Program.  The goal of the Program is to provide non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields.  The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program provides grants of up to $250,000 for capital improvement projects. Deadline:  8/30/2019.  Click here for more information and to apply.

Senior Corps Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)  Funding to develop and support Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) projects for volunteers 55 years and older in serving specific local and community needs in areas that currently do not have an RSVP grant. Letter of Intent (Optional): Aug 30, 2019.  Application Deadline: Sep 25, 2019.

The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering grants through the Rural Initiative that encourages collaborative and participatory efforts among residents in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer. Program planning grants up to $5,000 and program implementation grants up to $25,000 will be consideredDeadline:  Applications will be accepted online from 9/3/2019 to 10/3/2019.  Visit the Fund’s website by clicking here.

National Park Service is offering funds through The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Program.  The program provides support to develop and administer youth development programs that focus on providing employment, education, and engagement opportunities for U.S. citizens and legal residents in National Park Service units and affiliated sites such as National Register of Historic Places, National Heritage Areas, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Historic Landmarks, National Trails, and adjacent gateway communities. Deadline:  9/11/2019.  Click here to review application guidelines.

Foundation for Rural Service Community Grant Program Grants to support a variety of local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural communities across America. Focus areas include business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Application Deadline: Sept. 13, 2019.

The Laura Jane Musser Fund is also offering funding through the Intercultural Harmony Initiative in support of projects that promote mutual understanding and cooperation among groups of community members of different cultural backgrounds. Project planning grants up to $5,000 or implementation grants up to $25,000 will be considered. New programs or projects in their first three years are eligibleDeadline: Applications will be accepted online through the Fund’s website from 9/16 to 10/16/2019. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Kent Richard Hofmann Foundation Grants support community-based organizations providing direct services, education, or research in the areas of HIV and AIDS, with priority given to smaller communities and rural areas. Letter of Intent (Required): July 26, 2019. Application Deadline: Sept. 21, 2019.

USDA Rural Development is offering REDL and REDG loans and grants to assist in the economic development of rural areas, including funds for healthcare facilities and equipment, telecommunications networks, and job creation projects.  Deadline:  9/30/2019. Click here to review program guidelines and to apply.

–The Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (Farm Bill Broadband Program) furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed in eligible rural areas. The deadline is September 30.

— Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals  Grants for innovative projects that are working to build a culture of health, ensuring that everyone has access to the care they need and all families have the opportunity to make healthier choices.  Application Deadline: October 15, 2019.

Minnesota Federal Lands Access Program Call for Projects The Minnesota Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) Programming Decisions Committee (PDC) will be accepting project applications for the FY20-22 call for projects.  Due October 15th.

–The Mental Health Safety Net Grant assists mental health centers and clinics that treat the uninsured. Funds will be awarded each year proportionally among all eligible programs, based on the total number of uninsured patients under the age of 21 served. The Legislature has appropriated up to $393,750 in Fiscal Year 2020. Funding will be allocated by formula, among eligible applicants. Step 1 Application due to MDH: Step 2 Budget due to MDH: 12 p.m., November 1, 2019. For more information please contact: Randi Callahan, 651–201–3860.

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program Grants to promote the planning and development of rural healthcare networks in order to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential healthcare services; and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole. Application Deadline: Nov 29, 2019.

–The Home Depot Foundation’s Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve their communities. The program focuses on support for organizations that serve veterans in local communities, as well as organizations that serve diverse and underserved communities. Grants of up to $5,000 are made in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. Deadline: requests will be accepted on a rolling basis through 12/31/2019. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

BNSF Railway Foundation Grants to organizations that operate near a BNSF railway line. Priority areas include health and human service organizations, programs that address chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spouse and child abuse, women’s and children’s aid, transitional shelters, hospitals, medical programs, youth development programs, and federally recognized tribes.  Geographic coverage: Nationwide in areas near BNSF rail lines. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Direct Relief Partnership Network A partnership program for healthcare facilities that extends medication access to patients who are unable to afford prescriptions, reduces procurement costs of medications and supplies, and leverages resources to foster healthier communities. Partner facilities order online from Direct Relief’s pharmaceutical inventory. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Discount for Rural Health Coding and Billing Specialist Online Course  Offers a 50% discount on an online self-study course for rural healthcare professionals to attain certification as a Rural Coding and Billing Specialist. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Grants dedicated to improving the health of the public by advancing the education and training of health professionals. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium Training Emergency preparedness training and resources for rural first responders, offered both in-person and online, and provided at no cost. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Susan G. Komen Affiliate Community Health Grants Funding for breast cancer education, screening, and treatment projects that benefit underserved populations. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Stand Down Grants provide funding for events that offer homeless veteran populations a variety of social services designed to help them to reintegrate into their communities, such as housing, healthcare, and employment opportunities. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Rural PREP Travel Support A travel support program for individuals presenting at regional/multi-state, national, and international meetings held within the United States with the primary purpose of disseminating rural health professions education research and scholarship. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Strengthening the Tribal Response to Violence Against Native Women Training, technical assistance, and resources designed to help individual tribal governments and tribal communities strengthen the response to effectively address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.


Blandin Foundation is there is help with ICF Application. The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) measures six inter-related indicators of a community’s competitiveness in the digital economy. It is a tool and an international competition. Blandin is holding a series of regional meeting to talk about the ICF process and offer assistance to communities interested in applying.

  • Bemidji Wednesday, August 14 9:30-11:00 am
  • Appleton Monday, August 19 1:00-2:30 pm

Improving the Health and Well-Being of Rural Communities Through Collaboration.
Collaboration between organizations is often necessary in rural communities in order to assess and address health needs. Join the Rural Health Information Hub Webinar on Thursday August 15 at 12:00 p.m. Central as they hear from two innovative rural health organizations about how they developed strategies to meet population health goals, address social determinants of health, and improve health outcomes.

–MCN has a number of grantwriting workshops coming up this summer to help you grow and sharpen your skills to bring in dollars for your organization! Check out the upcoming dates/times happening all over the state and register today!

Unintentional Injury Death Rates in the United States Join the Rural Health Information Hub Webinar on Thursday August 29 at 12:00 p.m. Central. Henry Olaisen and Holly Hedegaard from the National Center for Health Statistics will discuss two recently published reports: Unintentional Injury Death Rates in Rural and Urban Areas: United States, 1999–2017 and Urban–Rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, by Sex, Age, and Type of Drugs Involved, 2017.

Registration Open for 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit Registration is open for the 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit held Oct. 3-5 at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids.

–October 8-10 – MN Fall Broadband Conference. This three-day conference at the beautiful Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN offers learning and engagement on many aspects of the challenges and benefits of broadband access and use, from “Pursuing Broadband 101,” to digital inclusion tools and strategies for diverse audiences.

–2019 National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource. ACEEE will host its tenth National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource (EER) on October 15-17th in Minneapolis. Held every other year since 2001, the conference highlights the latest developments in the design and delivery of customer energy efficiency programs, and the regulatory mechanisms that help make them possible. Look for a robust discussion of the many issues facing utilities as they acquire and integrate this resource into their planning and operation. Registration information and further details here.

–2019 Gateway to Solar Conference. The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) will host its 6th annual Gateway Conference on Oct. 21st and 22nd. The event is Minnesota’s largest industry-led solar trade group conference focusing on growing the solar industry in the state. Held in downtown Minneapolis, the Gateway conference bills itself as providing “robust and in-depth educational opportunities while providing networking and exhibits in a relaxed, approachable forum.”  Read more.

–Hold the Dates:


Download TestIt, the Rural Broadband Mapping App. Data indicating broadband availability and speed is reported twice a year by service providers, but there is no mechanism to verify the accuracy of the data, and anecdotal evidence suggests an entire ZIP code is oftentimes marked as “served” with broadband if just one home in the census block has coverage. In response, National Association of Counties (NACo), Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) created a mobile app that harnesses grassroots advocacy by empowering individual users to accurately identify areas with low or no internet connectivity. This data is aggregated to identify gaps in broadband coverage and help guide advocacy for adequate funding and inform decision-making at federal, state, and local levels.  To date, the mobile app has been downloaded 4,500 times and 190,000 tests have been run. Help to keep up the momentum by clicking herefor the landing page you can link to and download the app, and then encourage other folks to do so.  Click here for the link to a one page description of the app.  Click here to see the state by state data collected so far.

— Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program Loan repayment for undergraduate and graduate health professional educational loans in return for full-time clinical service in Indian Health Service programs. Application Deadline: August 15, 2019.

Rural Health Fellows Program A year-long, intensive fellowship program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application Deadline: August 27, 2019.

–Health information exchange (HIE) input.  The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is actively seeking comments and ideas to help inform the next steps for health information exchange (HIE) in Minnesota including planning for a connected networks approach. MDH would like your feedback on the Request for Public Input on a Connected Networks Approach for Health Information Exchange in Minnesota. Please consider responding on behalf of your organization and sharing with colleagues at other organizations to encourage their response. Responses are due to by August 28.

– Sep 12: Feeding Innovation in Greater Minnesota 
Broadband-powered technology plays a critical role in spurring the competitiveness Minnesota’s Ag sector and Ag-dependent communities. Please join us at United Farmers Cooperative in Winthrop to learn about how broadband and Ag-technology will affect the future of Minnesota’s agricultural sector, and what our farmers and farming communities are doing to take advantage of these opportunities. Now more important than ever!
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Berdan Center
705 4th Street East
Winthrop, MN   55396

Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship A fellowship for Native Americans engaged in meaningful work that benefits Indigenous people and communities in reservation and/or urban settings. The fellowship is open to both emerging and experienced leaders from a wide variety of fields, including but not limited to agriculture, food systems, youth leadership development, natural resource management, climate change, and economic development. Application Deadline: Sept.13, 2019.

Applications Now Open for the 2020 Shannon Leadership Institute. Now is the time to submit your application for the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute! The mission of the institute is to nurture the creativity and vitality of community-serving leaders from all sectors.  It provides a structured and supportive place for community leaders to dive deep into the purpose of their work and the core values they want to exemplify, enhance their focus and effectiveness, and increase their sense of fulfillment. The deadline to apply for the institute isn’t until October 15, but don’t delay! Head to their website for information about joining an info session, insight from alumni, and facts about the upcoming session.

–Bush Foundation Event Scholarships Interested in attending a conference but your organization doesn’t have the additional funds to send you? Apply for a Bush Foundation event scholarship! Head to the Bush Foundation website to find out more information about event scholarships and to submit your application!

2020 Minnesota Census Jobs, United States Census Bureau

CO.STARTERS with the James J. Hill Center. Are you an entrepreneur but want a little help moving your idea forward? Learn more about the CO.STARTERS program, presented by the James J. Hill Center! This 10-week program equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action. Over the course of the program, 10-15 entrepreneurs will meet one evening a week led by an experienced facilitator to help give you everything you need to launch.  Learn more about the program over on the James J. Hill Center website!


— Coping with farm and rural stress.  The MN Department of Agriculture (MDA) has set up a website for farmers coping with farm and rural stress: Coping with farm and rural stress. In addition, MDA has joined forces with Red River Farm Network to create TransFARMation–radio shows and podcasts about farm stress stories and strategies. The series is designed to increase awareness and reduce inhibitions about acknowledging farm stress, as well as highlight the resources available. Local farmers, ranchers and agricultural stakeholders are featured, sharing personal stories and offering a message of hope.

Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America  View the diversity of challenges and opportunities across America’s counties.

Micropolitan America Infographic showing a variety of charts about micropolitan statistical areas. Includes a map of micropolitan areas. Provides data on the micropolitan population compared to the U.S. population as a whole, covering age and sex, race/ethnicity, population change, industry, and occupation.

Social Determinants of Health among the Rural Hispanic Population. Policy brief examining health disparities between Hispanic and white rural people. Second in a series of 4 policy briefs on social determinants of health. Features demographic statistics with breakdowns by race and urban or rural location, and age-adjusted mortality rates by ethnicity, gender, and residence as of 2016.

NEW data on Minnesota’s largest immigrant communities. Compass has updated and enhanced group at-a-glance profiles for Minnesota’s 17 largest immigrant communities, including brand new profiles for BurmeseFilipinoGermanGuatemalanKenyan, and Salvadoran immigrants. Plus, all profiles now include more information on household size and composition, housing cost burden, and more.

Employment & Education ERS research in this area focuses on labor market conditions and educational attainment in rural (nonmetropolitan) America. The labor market measures discussed here include the level of employment, the employment/population ratio, the unemployment rate, and the labor force participation rate. Educational attainment is closely linked to labor market outcomes. While rural areas are closing the gap with urban areas in high school completion, there is a large and growing gap in college and postgraduate educational attainment, even among young adults.

The Counting for Dollars 2020 Project fact sheet explains how the federal government relies on census data to guide the distribution of federal funding to states, localities, and households across the nation. It also describes how the accuracy of the 2020 Census will determine the fair, equitable distribution of these funds.

Federal Funding for Rural America: The Role of the Decennial Census

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): A Primer on Telehealth  addresses how the Veterans Health Administration (VA) is using telehealth to increase access to care for veterans. Provides an overview of VA telehealth programs and requirements, the impact of the VA MISSION Act, issues for Congress to consider, and rural veterans.

Network Sustainability Toolkit  is a resource to help rural leaders develop sustainable healthcare networks with increased long-term impact. Includes access to a network sustainability assessment, a collection of network-focused resources and tools, and case studies of successful rural health networks. Additional links: An Introduction to RHI’s Network Sustainability Toolkit: History and Background

–FYI – The new East Central Regional Arts Council office is at 109 Weber Avenue South. We are open during regular office hours (Monday – Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm). You can contact us at or by calling the (new!) phone at 320-591-7031.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!