Davis, Calif., Sep 26, 2013 -- Last week at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building the White House Rural Council and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hosted a regional economic development forum with representatives from across the country to discuss ways to replicate successful regional economic development strategies.
Attendees included Valerie Klinefelter of Central Sierra Resource Conservation and Development Council, in Jackson, Calif. The organization received a $250,000 Rural Business Opportunity Grant in 2010 to provide technical assistance for regional development activities in California.
"California has embraced regional economic development strategies as a means to both improve economic opportunities for many of our rural areas, and to create a link between our urban and rural areas," said USDA Rural Development State Director Glenda Humiston. "We currently have five strong regional efforts underway, as well as statewide efforts such as the California Financial Opportunities Roundtable thanks in part to the work of Valerie’s group."
During the forum, Vilsack also announced funding for two projects that support regional and economic development in California. Fresno Community Development Financial Institution will be able to continue its regional economic development work because it has been selected for a $500,000 Intermediary Relending Program loan to support business development in the Central Valley. The organization will re-lend the money to public and non-profit groups that will establish revolving loan funds to support local businesses.
Blue Lake Rancheria will also receive a $47,960 Rural Business Opportunity Grant to do a feasibility study and develop a business plan for operating a woody biomass power plant in Humboldt, Calif.
Funding for each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs 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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