News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017864
ContactAdam Czech(651) 602-7799
ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug 14, 2012 --

@@USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today announced that five community-based organizations in Minnesota have been selected to receive funding to help local businesses and leaders build capacity to create jobs and improve rural infrastructure and housing.

Landkamer also announced that four Minnesota businesses and farmers have been selected to receive grants to install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. The business owners and farms are located in Freeborn County, Sibley County, Yellow Medicine County and Martin County.

“This funding helps local communities build capacity and address regional needs through much-needed technical assistance and training,” Landkamer said. “The energy funding directly helps local businesses or farms cut energy costs and supports the Obama administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI)
USDA’s RCDI program helps community-based development organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes and other groups promote economic growth in low-income, rural communities. Recipients are required to obtain matching funds, which increase the value of the grants.

Minnesota recipients include:

Region Five Development Corporation
Based in Staples, Minn., Region Five will use a $200,000 grant to develop the capacity and ability of community groups to strengthen and sustain selected low-income rural communities in Cass, Wadena, Todd, Crow Wing and Morrison Counties.

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund
A $200,000 grant will be used to develop the capacity of the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership and Three Rivers Community action to serve the needs of immigrant households in rural southwest and southeast Minnesota.

The Initiative Foundation
The Initiative Foundation will use a $200,000 grant to provide technical assistance and training community organizations in central Minnesota to undertake housing, community and economic development programs.

Minnesota Housing Partnership
The Minnesota Housing Partnership will use a $200,000 grant to plan and coordinate housing, community and economic development training and technical assistance that assist low-income communities throughout 10 counties in rural Minnesota.

Minnesota Homeownership Center
A $143,421 grant will be used to provide foreclosure prevention services to communities in rural Northeast Minnesota through the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, based in Virginia, Minn.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
REAP provides grants and loan guarantees for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs, use renewable energy technologies in their operations and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects.

Minnesota grant recipients include:

    • DK Pagel Wind Properties, $40,434 to install a 39.9 killowat wind turbine in Sibley County.

    • Neil Schlaak, $32,157 for an energy efficient grain dryer in Freeborn County.

    • Carl Louwagie, $12,044 for an energy efficient grain dryer in Yellow Medicine County.

    • Bruce Anderson, $11,112 for a geothermal heat pump in Martin County.

Since 2009, REAP has helped almost 600 Minnesota businesses and farmers install renewable energy systems or make efficiency improvements. The projected savings from these investments could save enough energy to power over 10,000 American homes for a year.

USDA Rural Development has invested about $3 billion throughout rural Minnesota since 2009. In addition to renewable energy and capacity building, Rural Development invests in housing, infrastructure, community facilities, business loans and high-speed Internet in rural areas.

To learn more, visit, or call your local Rural Development office.