Des Moines, Iowa, Feb 01, 2012 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday announced that loans and grants will be provided to applicants in 10 states to support businesses, improve the quality of medical care, and create or save hundreds of jobs. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program.
Three of the recipients are from Iowa.
“During his State of the Union address last week, President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values,” said Vilsack. “The funding announced today will help support the President’s vision by providing our rural communities with resources to support small businesses, improve public facilities, and create new, sustainable jobs.
Funding of each recipient is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions for the grant or loan. Information about the Iowa projects includes:
City of Pocahontas - $300,000 grant
Funds will be loaned to the Pocahontas Community Hospital to assist with the expansion and remodel of the hospital.
Heartland Power Cooperative - $250,000 loan
This project will assist in the construction of a community-owned 47 room hotels in Osage, Iowa.
Independence Light and Power - $707,750 loan
This project will assist Wapsie Valley Creamery, Inc. in the construction of a 4,700 square-foot expansion of their milk processing plant.
Since taking office, the Obama administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the President wants the federal government to be the best possible partner for rural businesses and entrepreneurs creating job opportunities and for people who want to live, work, and raise their families in rural communities. Investments that the Obama Administration has made in rural America include:
• Provided grants and loans to assist over 50,000 rural small and mid-sized businesses in creating or saving 266,000 jobs.
• Invested in over 6,250 community facilities projects, reaching nearly 29 million rural Americans, including 736 education facilities, 433 libraries, 581 health care facilities, and 2,800 public safety facilities.
• Helped 456,000 rural families in more than 21,000 communities buy or refinance a home.
• Invested in new and improved broadband service for nearly seven million rural residents, and 364,000 rural businesses, saving or creating over 25,000 jobs.
• Helped improve and modernize rural electric infrastructure for over 25 million rural residents and businesses with more than 80,000 miles of upgraded and new electric lines.
• Invested in 5,100 water and waste water community infrastructure projects to help safeguard the health of 18 million rural residents and create or save 135,000 jobs.
• Helped lead an effort to promote the domestic production and use of advanced biofuels with the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural communities. Invested in research, supported farmers growing bioenergy feedstocks, and helped support more than 230 bioenergy projects, including construction of 5 biorefineries to produce fuels.
• Helped approximately 25,000 rural small businesses, farmers, and ranchers, save energy and improve their bottom line by installing renewable energy systems and energy efficiency solutions that will save a projected 6.5 billion in kWh – enough energy to power 590,000 American homes for a year.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $155 billion in affordable loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,900 jobs, aided 2,000 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 80 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
Contact USDA Rural Development
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural areas and communities. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia or by calling (515) 284-4663.
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