Washington, DC, Dec 20, 2012 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of recipients for grants and loans to help spur economic development and create or save jobs in rural communities in seven Midwestern and Southern states.
“This funding will help rural businesses create sustainable, quality jobs," Vilsack said. "These projects demonstrate the Obama Administration's ongoing commitment to ensure that rural communities attract the investments they need to support business development.
Funding will be provided to applicants in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Tennessee. USDA Rural Development is providing support through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG), which provides zero-interest loans to local utilities that they, in turn, pass through to local businesses for projects to create and retain employment in rural areas.
Ralls County Electric Cooperative in New London, Mo., will receive a $300,000 grant to assist Moberly Area Community College (MACC) construct a higher education center in Hannibal, Mo. The grant funds will complement a $1,000,000 REDLG loan received by the cooperative in October 2012. For information about the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, please visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_redlg.html.
Rural Development State Director Janie Dunning said, “The grant funds will allow Moberly Area Community College to expand planned facilities in the higher education center. This expansion in turn will increase the program offerings thereby increasing educational opportunities for students. Ralls County Electric Cooperative is commended for recognizing the importance of education to the economic and social development of communities in their territory.”
With today's announcement USDA is investing more than $6.1 million to create economic opportunity. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
For other examples of USDA investments in rural communities, please visit Rural Development's 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 $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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