News Release
Release No.STELPRD4018729
ContactDarin Leach515-284-4747
(OCTOBER 30, 2012) ARNOLD THOMAS RECEIVES VILSACK-WALLACE AWARD FROM USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Thomas Recognized for Outstanding Service to Communities in Northwest
Des Moines, Iowa, Oct 30, 2012 --

@@Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, today announced that Arnold Thomas is this month’s Vilsack-Wallace Award recipient for exceptional contributions to USDA Rural Development in Iowa.

The Vilsack-Wallace Award is given each month to a USDA Rural Development employee in Iowa who goes above and beyond their normal work duties to assist rural Iowans and USDA staff.

Thomas, who is the Community Programs Specialist for USDA Rural Development office in Storm Lake, is being recognized for his role in helping USDA Rural Development invest more than $70 million to assist rural communities across Iowa improve their facilities, infrastructure and services this past year.

“Arnold is an amazing public servant and his impact can be seen far and wide in northwest Iowa,” Menner said. “This past year he successfully guided many community-based projects through our funding programs, including two large and somewhat complex hospital projects.”

Thomas is always there for his co-workers as well.

“After more than 30 years with the USDA Arnold has pretty much seen it all,” Menner added. “He is always willing to share with our staff his experience, knowledge and wisdom in an ever gentle, caring and humorous way. He continues to pour everything he has into creating opportunities for northwest Iowa.”

The Vilsack-Wallace Award is named for the two most recent Iowans to serve as U.S. Agriculture Secretary. Tom Vilsack served as Iowa’s governor from 1999 to 2007. Henry A. Wallace was the first Ag Secretary and later Vice President under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He also perfected the first corn hybrid and founded Hi-Bred Corn, which later became Pioneer Hi-Bred.

This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,900 jobs, aided 2,000 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 80 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas.  Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by calling (515) 284-4663 or by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.

USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of grant and direct and guaranteed loan programs for single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and industry programs.

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.

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