Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Feb 27, 2014 -- U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien visited the state today and highlighted USDA investments that are helping to expand regional foods systems.
"Creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity for rural small businesses are top priorities for this Administration," O’Brien said. "That's why I am excited about the investments USDA is making in Iowa and across the country to help support local and regional foods. The new Farm Bill expands the potential for economic growth in rural America by supporting these efforts which are helping to create jobs and strengthen rural businesses like the ones I will tour during my time here.”
Deputy Under Secretary O’Brien, who grew up on a farm in Cascade, Iowa, toured the NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids. The market sits on a former industrial site located in an historic neighborhood that was devastated by floods in 2008. It opened in the fall of 2012 and specializes in local, homegrown foods, art, and events. Local markets such as this one demonstrate the potential of local foods systems to spur economic activity in rural communities.
On Friday, O’Brien will visit FarmTek in Dyersville to view hydroponic systems, hoop houses, greenhouses and other FarmTek products that are benefiting producers who supply crops for regional food systems. USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) staff are also expected to be on hand for this event.
About USDA Rural Development
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,000 jobs, aided 2,600 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.
For more information about finance programs available through USDA Rural Development, please call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
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.
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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