News Release
Release No.STELPRD4019609
ContactDarin Leach515-284-4747
Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin Claims First Place in National Taste-Testing Competition
Washington, D.C., Feb 14, 2013 --

@@The city of Prairie du Sac, Wis., this week was awarded the gold medal for best-tasting rural water in the nation during the Great American Water Taste Test, held at the National Rural Water Association’s (NRWA) Water Rally in Washington, D.C. Coming in third place in the contest was water provided by the City of Pisgah in Harrison County.

USDA Rural Utilities Service Acting Administrator John Padalino served on the judging panel. Padalino administers USDA water and environmental programs.

“This event is a reminder of how essential rural water infrastructure is to every community in America,” Padalino said. “A strong rural water network leads to a strong rural America. A strong rural America leads to a stronger America, where food, energy, goods and services are plentiful. Congratulations to the hard-working water utility operators and the community of Prairie du Sac in Wisconsin.”

Second place in the contest went to City of Emporia, Kansas. Other finalists included the cities of Roscommon, Michigan and Trenton, Nebraska.

A panel of judges selected the finalists from entries across the United States. Each sample was judged on clarity, bouquet and taste.

Earlier this week, Padalino spoke at the NWRA 2013 Rural Water Rally and at the Rural Community Assistance Partnership annual board meeting. At both events, the Administrator, a former water system’s operator, emphasized the need for continued investment in rural water and waste disposal infrastructure.

Since 2009, USDA has invested $8 billion in new and improved infrastructure that will benefit 4.5 million households and businesses and 12.4 million rural residents.

About USDA Rural Development

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 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

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 $181 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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