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Rural Health and Safety

Many individuals and families living in rural areas and communities experience disparities related to physical and behavioral health, safety, and well-being. Such disparities are often triggered by the hardships of poverty and inadequate access to gainful employment and resources.

NIFA helps enhance rural health and safety through research, education, and extension, in collaboration with the Regional Rural Development Centers, their many partners in the land-grant university system, and in communities across the country. NIFA promotes rural health and safety through national program leadership, funding for integrated research, education, and extension activities, and strategic partnerships and collaborations. Such efforts help promote and enhance rural health, strengthen economic vitality and, over time, break the rural poverty cycle.Such efforts help promote and enhance rural health, strengthen economic vitality and, over time, break the rural poverty cycle.

Rural Health and Safety Education Grant Program

The RHSE program proposals are expected to be community-based outreach education programs, such as those conducted through Human Science extension outreach that provide individuals and families with: information as to the value of good health at any age; information to increase individual or family’s motivation to take more responsibility for their own health; information regarding rural environmental health issues that directly impact human health; information about and access to health promotion and educational activities; and training for volunteers and health services providers concerning health promotion and health care services for individuals and families in cooperation with state, local, and community partners.

Rural Health and Safety Applicant Webinars

Funding Priority

Section 502 (i) of Title V of the Rural Development Act of 1972, as amended (7 U.S.C. 2662) provides funds to NIFA to provide grant to foster quality of life in rural communities by providing the essential knowledge necessary for successful programs of rural development, improving coordination among Federal agencies, other levels of government, and institutions and private organizations in rural areas, and developing and disseminating information about rural conditions.


Applications may be submitted by 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant colleges and universities that are eligible to receive funds under the Act of July 2, 1862 (7 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), and the Act of August 30, 1890 (7 U.S.C. 321 et seq.), including Central State University, Tuskegee University, West Virginia State University. Applications also may be submitted by any of the Tribal colleges and universities designated as 1994 Land-Grant Institutions under the Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, as amended. 

Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of the project.

Types of Projects

While not limited to implementing Extension-created programs or approaches, projects must: use research-informed, outcome-based programs and approaches with performance indicators that demonstrate measurable changes in knowledge and attitudes of project participants; use Cooperative Extension as the primary model of program outreach and delivery; implement programs and approaches in federally classified rural counties; and coordinate with the State office of rural health.

Read previously funded projects.

The Awards Process

Awards will be made through a competitive grants process, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). All applications for funding must be submitted electronically through This process requires pre-registration which can take up to one month. We encourage all potential applicants to begin the registration process as soon as possible.

Reviewers from universities, government, community-based organizations, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and from the military, veteran, and farming/agribusiness community will provide peer assessment and recommend applications for funding.

Post Award Monitoring

Projects are required to acknowledge USDA-NIFA funding in all presentations, publications, news releases, etc. Projects are required to collect and submit outcome-based data to USDA-NIFA through annual reports. The annual Project Directors and Evaluators meeting provides opportunities for networking and sharing of best practices.

Program type
Emphasis Area Program

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