Dubuque, Iowa, Jul 02, 2012 -- Today, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien and Congressman Bruce Braley discussed the important role rural economic development provisions have in the upcoming discussions of the next farm, food and jobs bill.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to address the needs of rural America to help drive rural job creation with the effective use of taxpayer dollars,” O’Brien said. “We want to make it easier for people to access USDA support, ensuring that emerging rural businesses have the capital they need to grow and create jobs, and investing in communities pursing regional growth.”
Earlier this month the Senate approved the Agriculture Reform, Foods and Jobs Act that will help strengthen local land regional food systems, support rural communities and promote job growth in rural America. The House of Representatives will soon begin discussions of their version of the next farm, food and jobs bill.
While in Iowa, Deputy Secretary O’Brien also announced that the USDA Rural Development mission area is awarding a total of $334,980 to six entities in the state through its Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program to help with job-creation efforts.
Receiving funds include Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development, Amana ($50,000); City of Underwood ($42,820); Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa ($70,000); Northeast Iowa Community College Foundation, Calmar ($44,000); City of Elgin ($59,000) and Loess Hills Solutions, Inc., Council Bluffs ($69,180).
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 is committed to using Federal resources more efficiently to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in 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.