News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017725
ContactMarla Marx308-632-2195 Ext. 1132
Vicki Schurman402-437-5563
(AUGUST 6, 2012) PANHANDLE RURAL ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATION RECEIVES LOAN FROM USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT FOR CHADRON STATE COLLEGE RANGELAND CENTER
Chadron, Nebraska, Aug 06, 2012 --

@@A $1 million loan will help complete the funding for the new Chadron State College Rangeland Agriculture Center and Pavilion located on the Chadron State College Campus. The Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association (PREMA) has received the loan, according to an announcement today at Chadron by USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul. Leveraged with nearly $1.9 million in other funds, the loan will assist in constructing the project.

The Rural Economic Development Loan (REDL) received by PREMA will fund Phase I of a two Phase project. Phase I will add two jobs and provide the opportunity to increase enrollment for the rangeland program.

“The $1 million loan awarded to the Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association is the largest ever funded in Nebraska through REDL and will help provide for economic development in this rural area,” said Moul. “I congratulate PREMA for their foresight in seeking the funding and look forward to the completion of Phase I of the Center and Pavilion.”

“PREMA is committed to Western Nebraska and especially economic development in the rural areas. The PREMA Board of Directors, by arranging for this USDA REDL, has shown its support of rural economic development which helps improve the quality of life in Western Nebraska,” said PREMA General Manager Ryan Reiber.

“We at Chadron State are extremely thankful for the efforts of USDA Rural Development and PREMA to help make this funding a reality,” said Dr. Randy Rhine, CSC interim president. “This loan will help put us in a position to begin moving dirt for a project that is generating excitement not only on campus, but throughout the region. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy, and we are eager to enhance our already exceptional offerings with this new facility.”

Chadron State College (CSC), in the heart of western Nebraska, is home to the second largest rangeland program on the Great Plains, second only to Texas A&M.  Graduates of the CSC rangeland and agriculture program historically return to continue the tradition of family farming and ranching in western Nebraska.  Their academic training includes learning new technologies, strategies, and scientific methodologies designed to make rangeland management and agri-business more efficient and productive. 

The Rangeland Agriculture Center and Pavilion will be the new home for the Rangeland Management and Agriculture programs. The facility will permit CSC to expand its academic programs in range management, domestic livestock, equine science, wildlife management, soil and plant sciences, and production processes and technique classes.

The Center and is to be a 38,872 square foot complex contained in two separate but adjacent buildings. For efficiency and to facilitate phased construction as well as LEED Certification, the Rangeland Center will be built in two phases.  Phase 1 is the arena/live animal facility which will house a practice/performing arena for the rodeo team, live animal teaching/demonstration areas for the Agriculture and Rangeland Management Program, and will provide a campus facility for large agricultural/range management activities such as workshops, seminars, exhibitions and similar events that will support the student population and the surrounding communities.

It is anticipated that the Rangeland Agriculture Center and Pavilion will attract more students in the related agriculture programs, wildlife programs, equine science, and rodeo.  Faculty estimate the program could see a 10-20 percent increase in enrollment (10-20 students) with the completion of the Rangeland Agriculture Center and Pavilion. Increased enrollment could lead to additional faculty and/or college personnel. 

For additional information contact Marla Marx at marla.marx@ne.usda.gov or phone (308) 632-2195 Ext. 1132. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne/.