The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced it will prioritize two key grant programs to address opioid misuse in rural communities. Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett says the focused investment will target USDA resources “to be a strong partner to rural communities” in building a local response to the opioid epidemic. USDA is reserving $5 million in the Community Facilities Grant Program and is giving priority to Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program applications proposing projects to address the opioid epidemic in rural communities. Funding for both programs was made available through the 2018 Omnibus spending bill. USDA points out that the National Center for Health Statistics estimates that nearly 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. More than half of those deaths involved opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin. Learn more about the grants at www.rd.usda.gov.