Des Moines, Iowa, Feb 15, 2012 -- Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, today announced that Kate Sand is this month’s Vilsack-Wallace Award recipient for exceptional contributions to USDA Rural Development in Iowa.
The Vilsack-Wallace Award is given each month to a USDA Rural Development employee in Iowa who goes above and beyond their normal work duties to assist rural Iowans and USDA staff.
Sand has been the agency’s Acting Business Programs Director in Iowa for the past four months. While taking on this state-wide leadership position Sand has also maintained her caseload serving business clients in 10 counties in south central Iowa. Sand has been with USDA Rural Development for 7 ½ years.
“While Kate has stepped in on several occasions in the past to assist with our agency’s State Office operations, her tenure as the Acting Business Programs Director has been unlike any of those other experiences,” Menner said.
Sand has shown tremendous leadership while at the same time consistently displaying a calm demeanor no matter what challenges she faces.
She has worked tirelessly to develop a state-wide plan to distribute program funds for the year. She also worked though some unforeseen circumstances including the loss of a key team member and the facilitation of a large number of appeals.
Sand is also a member of USDA Rural Developments 2011-2012 Iowa Leadership Development Class.
“Kate has been an outstanding contributor in this program and has had a tremendous impact on USDA’s efforts to culturally transformation the agency,” Menner added. “She is also working hard to ensure all staff in Iowa has access to future leadership-development programs.”
The Vilsack-Wallace Award is named for the two most recent Iowans to serve as U.S. Agriculture Secretary. Tom Vilsack served as Iowa’s governor from 1999 to 2007. Henry A. Wallace was the first Ag Secretary and later Vice President under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He also perfected the first corn hybrid and founded Hi-Bred Corn, which later became Pioneer Hi-Bred.
USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of direct and guaranteed rural credit programs involving single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and cooperative programs.
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.
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 calling (515) 284-4663 or by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
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