Washington, D.C., Oct 17, 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 rural economic development and create or save jobs.
"These awards illustrate the important impact that economic development assistance can have 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 is providing assistance through several Rural Development programs. In one, 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 jobs in rural areas. For example, Ralls County Electric Cooperative in New London, Missouri has been selected for a $1,000,000 loan. Funds will be used to help the Moberly Area Community College construct a new campus in Hannibal. For information about the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, please visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_redlg.html.
Secretary Vilsack also announced today the selection of 35 organizations for Rural Cooperative Development grants to provide technical and business development assistance in rural areas. Missouri IncuTech Foundation received a $96,000 grant. Funds will be used to establish the Missouri Cooperative Development Center to focus on assisting rural agricultural producers and purchasers. The Center will conduct a series of workshops to target economically depressed food producers and purchasers who want to form cooperatives and mutually owned business entities. For more information about the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program, please visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_RCDG.html.
Through the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program, three organizations received funding. University of Missouri received $38,880 to provide technical assistance for technology- and community-based business ventures. The Community Foundation of NW Missouri, Inc. was awarded $32,500 to perform a statewide Transfer of Wealth economic development study. Willow Springs Community Foundation was granted $50,000 to perform a feasibility study to identify economic opportunities for the south central Ozark region.
Rural Development State Director Janie Dunning said, “The projects in Missouri are excellent examples of innovation and foresight. These organizations are identifying challenges and opportunities in order to respond to the economic, educational or charitable needs in our communities.”
With today's announcement, USDA is investing more than $20 million to spur economic growth. Go to (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdEconomicDevNRCHARTOct2012.pdf) for a complete list of recipients that have been selected for funding. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
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. For further information about Rural Development programs in Missouri visit the website at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo.
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 $174 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.
“Committed to the future of rural communities.”
“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.”
To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W.,
Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).