Galva, Iowa, Apr 07, 2014 -- USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Lillian Salerno today kicked off a three-state Midwest tour to highlight USDA investments that are helping expand business opportunities in the bio-economy.
“Creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity for rural small businesses are top priorities for the Obama Administration,” Salerno said. “The new Farm Bill expands the potential for economic growth in rural America by maintaining momentum for the emerging bio-based industry and the more than 3,000 bio-based companies across the country.”
During the tour of bio-based projects and companies in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, Salerno is also hosting roundtable discussions with lenders, business owners and stakeholders to address ways USDA Rural Development can help advance job creation in rural America.
A new USDA report issued last month indicates Rural Development investments helped create 75,000 jobs across the nation in 2013.
Salerno’s tour begins today with a visit to Quad County Corn Processors near Galva, Iowa. Employees at the facility are working on a process to turn corn kernel fibers into cellulosic ethanol and as a result boost the plant’s ethanol production. The company has received nearly $22 million in USDA Rural Development loan guarantees since it opened 13 years ago.
Later today, Salerno will hold roundtables in nearby Holstein, Iowa, and South Sioux City, Neb., to hear from a variety of rural partners as they share their thoughts about ways to create jobs and expand economic opportunities in rural communities.
Her day will conclude with a visit to Laurel BioComposite, LLC in Laurel, Neb. The company received a $5 million USDA loan guarantee to purchase manufacturing equipment and provide working capital. The investment helped create nine jobs and retain three.
Laurel Biocomposite is the first company in the country to produce new products for use in the plastics industry by converting distiller’s grain into a pellet or into powder products that replace and/or enhance traditional petroleum-based resins in plastics manufacturing processes.
On Tuesday, Salerno will visit Deuel Area Development Inc. (DADI), in Toronto, S.D. In partnership with the Deubrook Area School, DADI created a commercial kitchen incubator where local producers and chefs can process and prepare food. The company received a $99,900 USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant to provide technical assistance to small businesses in Deuel County.
Later in the day, Salerno plans to participate in a bioeconomy listening session at South Dakota State University in Brookings.
For more information about USDA Rural Development programs, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov.
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.