News Release
Release No.STELPRD4016676
ContactTammi Schone605-352-1102
Brandon, SD, May 31, 2012 --

@@Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released a report highlighting the ways in which infrastructure investments in rural communities help create jobs and boost economic development, and he announced additional investments that will create jobs and promote economic growth across the nation.

“Quality hospitals, schools and libraries are the building blocks for a vibrant rural America,” said Vilsack. "Today’s announcement illustrates how the Obama Administration is leveraging Rural Development’s investments to ensure that rural communities can compete in the global economy.”

Since the start of fiscal year 2009, Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program has helped more than 37 million rural Americans address essential challenges in health care, education, public service and public safety by financing projects through loans, grants, or loan guarantees.

For example, Bethany Lutheran Home for the Aged, Inc. broke ground in April 2011 on the construction of a new 58-bed nursing home in Brandon. USDA Rural Development provided a direct and guaranteed loan to finance the construction of the nursing facility. Additionally, the new nursing home will also create 50-60 new jobs in Brandon, which is significant in a community of their size – population 8,785.

To find out how the Community Facilities Program is making a difference in your state, click here.

 Vilsack also announced that 38 Community Facilities investments in 21 states are being awarded today to continue the Administration’s commitment to help create jobs and improve the economy. For a complete list of awards announced today, please click here.

For example, in South Dakota, Vale Fire Department was awarded a $150,000 loan and a $20,000 grant to purchase a new fire truck. The new truck will enable the fire department to respond to emergencies in a more efficient manner.

USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program supports essential infrastructure and services for public use in rural areas of 20,000 in population or less. Financing for Community Facilities projects covers a broad range of interests, including healthcare, education, public safety and public services. There are three major Community Facilities Programs: Community Facilities Direct and Guaranteed Loan Programs, Community Facilities Grants, and the Rural Community Development Initiative.

Since taking office, President Obama’s 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 and for people who want to live, work and raise their families in rural communities.

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 $165 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.