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USDA grant designed to spur growth in Vicksburg

Vicksburg is among 47 communities selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Innovation program to help communities create and implement long-term economic development.

“It (the program) could not come at a better time for the city of Vicksburg as we continue to grow and develop the city in the right direction to meet the economic needs of the community,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said.

Under the program, each of the 47 communities and regions will be paired with one of four partner organizations that will provide free technical assistance for up to two years to help rural towns and regions create and implement economic development plans.

The USDA awarded $1.2 million in cooperative agreements to these partners in September 2018 to help the partners finance the free technical assistance.

The four selected companies include the National Association of Counties Research Foundation, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, McClure Engineering Company, and Purdue University Extension/Community & Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky.

Working with one of the agencies, Flaggs said, “We’ll be able to expand our research as related to economic development. We’re honored to be selected; that validates that we are headed in the right direction.”

The REDI initiative was developed by the USDA Rural Development Innovation Center to support recommendations identified in the report to the president of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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