Des Moines, Iowa, May 02, 2012 -- Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, today announced that Keith Bastow 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.
Bastow is an information technology specialist in USDA Rural Development’s Des Moines office.
“Keith is a tremendous behind-the-scenes asset to our agency,” Menner said. “We are very lucky to have him on our team. His attitude toward customer service is a shining example that all of us should strive to achieve.”
Bastow recently finished transferring USDA Rural Development’s Iowa web site to the new national format. This involved creating hundreds of new pages. Even though this new site design meant basically unplugging everything Bastow had down to make the “old” web site the standard that many others states pointed their applicants and customers to, he took the assignment without complaint.
Despite many new limitations with the new site format, he found ways to again make Iowa’s web site the most comprehensive of any in the nation.
Word is getting out nationwide that Bastow is a “master” of this new format. Naturally, he has graciously offered to help other states by getting them started.
“If there is a job to do, no matter when or where it is, he will step up and see that it is done correctly,” Menner added.
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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