News Release
Release No.STELPRD4019041
ContactDarin Leach515-284-4747
Arthur Honored for Assisting Eric Ulrichs During and After Four-Month Absence for Training Exercises
Des Moines, Iowa, Dec 19, 2012 --

@@Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, today announced that John Arthur, USDA Rural Development Area Director in southeastern Iowa, has recently received the Patriot Award for extraordinary support of an employee who is serving in the Iowa National Guard.  

The award is provided by the Iowa Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense.

“The Patriotic Employer Award recognizes individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Dick Rue, State Chair, Iowa Committee for ESGR.

Ulrichs joined USDA Rural Development’s Mount Pleasant office in September 2009.  In May 2011 he approached his supervisor John Arthur and expressed an interest joining the Army National Guard. From this initial conversation Arthur has fully supported Ulrichs’ desire to serve his country.

“First and foremost, we are all very thankful to Eric for his dedicated service to the National Guard to protect our nation’s freedoms,” Menner said. “We are also extremely pleased that John is receiving well-deserved recognition for assisting Eric as he prepared for a second career in the Iowa National Guard.”

Arthur worked very closely with Ulrichs prior to and even during his time away. Specifically, Arthur made sure Ulrichs received all the time-off and pay benefits he was eligible to receive. He also stayed in regular contact with Ulrichs while he was at basic training.

“While I was away John and all my co-workers at USDA Rural Development were extremely supportive of me by sending letters of encouragement and keeping me posted on work,” Ulrichs said.  “He backed me even though he knew he would be losing me for several months.” 

About USDA Rural Development

This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 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

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 $176 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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