News Release
Release No.STELPRD4018322
ContactCandice Celestin202-690-2385
Vicki Schurman402-437-5563
(SEPTEMBER 27, 2012) AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES SUPPORT TO IMPROVE HEALTH AND SAFETY FOR RURAL AMERICANS-NEBRASKA RECEIVES NEARLY $389,000
Washington, DC, Sep 27, 2012 --

@@Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced support for projects to create jobs and improve the quality of life in rural communities in 25 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Nebraska is the recipient of nearly $389,000.

"The Obama administration is committed to helping eligible rural communities obtain reliable emergency equipment and provided vital services," said Vilsack. These projects will help rural communities, protect the safety of residents and create a framework for job creation and economic growth."

The more than $5 million in funding announced today will support 127 projects through USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities Program. For example, the Warren Memorial Hospital Foundation of Friend, Nebraska will utilize $322,000 to purchase software to convert and maintain all medical records electronically. The Niobrara Valley Hospital Corporation of Lynch, Nebraska was awarded $33,500 to replace windows and exterior doors for energy efficiency and patient comfort in a 20 bed critical access hospital. The Table Rock Community Foundation of Table Rock, Nebraska will use $33,000 to purchase a new grass fire truck.

A complete list of Community Facilities projects announced today can be found at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdCFChart.pdf. Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan, grant or loan/grant agreement.

States receiving funding include: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

USDA's Community Facilities program provides loans and grants for essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. These facilities include child care centers, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted-living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings and transportation. Through this program, USDA ensures that such facilities are available to all rural residents. These funds are available to public bodies, non-profit organizations and federally recognized Indian tribes. More information about the Community Facilities Program can be found at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Reports/rdCFReportMay31-2012.pdf.

For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development's new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources 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, 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.