News Release
Release No.STELPRD4018673
ContactSarah Marquart916-798-9295
(OCTOBER 18, 2012) AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES PROJECTS TO CREATE RURAL JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN CALIFORNIA AND OTHER STATES
WASHINGTON, Oct 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 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."

The California Center for Cooperative Development (CCCD) has been selected to receive two grants from USDA Rural Development. A $113,610 grant will support a technical assistance project for refugee farmers that are farming as a cooperative in rural San Diego County and Pinal County, Ariz. Additionally, CCCD received a $175,000 grant through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program to assist with projects including farmer, worker, and food cooperative development and education programs in rural California and Lincoln County, Nev.

Additionally, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives has been selected to receive a Rural Cooperative Development Grant for $175,000 to start a new center, National Center for Worker Cooperative Enterprise. The center will support rural worker cooperative development in rural central California as well as Appalachia. And through the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program, the Quechan Tribally Designated Housing Entity in Imperial County was selected for a $74,500 grant to develop a Quechan Business Support Center to provide leadership training and technical assistance to individuals interested in creating or improving existing businesses that service the community.

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 nationwide, 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.

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.

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.

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