News Release
Release No.STELPRD4019166
ContactDarin Leach515-284-4747
Rice Recognized for Managing an Expanded Caseload Now Serving 19 Counties
Des Moines, Iowa, Jan 09, 2013 --

@@Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, today announced that Sheri Rice 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.

Rice, who is a community programs specialist working with communities served by USDA Rural Development’s Tipton and Mount Pleasant offices, is being recognized for consistently displaying a high level of professionalism to everyone she works with, and for taking on an expanded caseload in 19 counties with many complex water and wastewater projects.

“Sheri has been doing double-duty for more than a year now managing our Community Facilities and Water and Environmental Programs in both our Tipton and Mt Pleasant offices,” Menner said. “She has picked up an extensive caseload and outreach and has done it all with a positive and outgoing attitude.”

Rice is also part of a team at USDA Rural Development working closely with staff to expand their personal development and helping other staff on projects that benefit rural communities.

“Sheri’s ability to work with staff and our customers in rural Iowa is excellent,” Menner added. “She makes the office environment very welcoming to staff and is someone many turn to for assistance.”

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 1,600 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.

# # #