News Release
Release No.STELPRD4018609
ContactDawn Bonsell717-237-2286
Weldon Freeman202-690-1384
(10/18/12) AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUNDING
Support Will Create and Retain Employment in Rural America
WASHINGTON, Oct 18, 2012 --

@@ WASHINGTON, October 18, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 112 recipients in 38 states, Washington, DC, and the Western Pacific for loans and grants to help spur economic development and create or save jobs.

   “These awards illustrate the broad impact that USDA Rural Development’s assistance has on small towns and rural communities,” Vilsack said. “Whether the funding is given directly to individuals or businesses, or indirectly through utilities and other intermediaries, the results are the same: new jobs, stronger economies and more vibrant communities.”

USDA Rural Development is providing assistance through several loan and grant programs. Secretary Vilsack announced today the selection of 35 organizations for Rural Cooperative Development grants (RCDG) to provide technical and business development assistance in rural areas. Keystone Development Center received a RCDG to support a center that will provide technical assistance to increase on-farm and rural resident income through cooperative development assistance in the mid-Atlantic states.

For more information about the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program, please visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_RCDG.html.

In addition to the RCDG program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, utilities receive zero-interest loans that they pass through to local businesses for projects to create and retain employment in rural areas. For example, Lawrenceburg Utility Systems in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., has been selected for a $260,000 grant to provide financing to the Twenty-First Century Council of Lawrence County. The council will help the current tenant of an industrial building, the Assurance Operations Corporation, expand its operations and product line.

For more information about the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, please visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_redlg.html.

With today’s announcement, USDA is investing more than $20 million to spur economic growth. For a complete list of recipients that have been selected for funding, go to (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdEconomicDevNRCHARTOct2012.pdf). Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

USDA Rural Development programs have a strong track record of helping to create rural economic opportunity. In Somerset, Ky., the Pulaski County Industrial Development Foundation, Inc. used REDLG loans and grants totaling $429,000 to open a 38,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility to train field technicians for jobs in the utility industry. In the first year after the facility opened in September 2010, 180 low- to- moderate-income participants received training. Of these, more than 72 percent have been placed in permanent jobs directly related to their training. The Industrial Development Foundation received the REDLG funding as a pass-through from the South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation.

For other examples of USDA investments in rural communities, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html. The map features program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011.

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, 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 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 $172 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.

#

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).