COOKEVILLE, Tenn., Oct 05, 2010 -- COOKEVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 5, 2010 — USDA Rural Development believes improving the link between local farmers and families will result in healthier people and a healthier economy.
In Cookeville today, USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode joined members of the Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council (UCBC) to announce a federal investment in a WCTE-TV project that aims to make that important connection and help people across the Upper Cumberland "Live Green and Prosper." The announcement was made at the Putnam County Farmers Market.
"Family farms and other small businesses are the economic engines of rural communities, creating jobs and helping maintain a healthy, diversified local economy," said Goode. "Investments made to encourage people to use their local markets help families to eat higher quality and better tasting locally produced food."
According to Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council CEO Becky Magura the $80,000 USDA Rural Development grant will help fund a year-long educational outreach campaign on-air, on-line, in print and through social media promoting the idea, "If you eat, thank a farmer."
"We are extremely excited about the support we have received from the USDA for our 'Live Green and Prosper Initiative,'" said Magura. "This grant will enable us to continue to connect the consumer with the agricultural producer while enhancing the economic development within the Upper Cumberland. The staff and board of directors at WCTE are grateful for the opportunity to continue this important work on behalf of our area farmers."
The USDA Rural Development "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" project works with local campaigns like "Live Green and Prosper" to create new economic opportunities in rural communities by better connecting consumers with local producers. Goode said, "It's more important than ever to have a healthy understanding of where your food comes from and how it gets to your plate."
Others participating in the event included WCTE board member Joe Albrecht and WCTE staff, Cookeville Councilwoman Connie Albrecht, Tennessee Technological University Dean Pat Bagley, Cookeville Area Director Jerry Jolley and area staff Jimmy Allen, Chris Hampton and Jonathan Boyce.
Rural Development business grants help local governments and non-profit organizations improve local business infrastructure and promote job growth. Business loans provide needed financing for rural businesses and loan-guarantees are also available to help private lenders to increase the pool of investment capital available for business start-up, modernization and expansion in eligible rural areas.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, community infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. Last year Rural Development assisted more than 1.5 million rural Tennessee families and businesses with more than $1.06 billion in financial assistance through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in the Upper Cumberland area contact the Rural Development Area Office in Cookeville at 931-528-6539 ext. 2, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 extension 1493, or visit us online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA,
Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410,
or call (800) 795-3272 TDD (615) 783-1397.