Five projects located in southern New Mexico have been highlighted in this News Release as part of the Rural Partners Network
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is providing $262 million to improve access to jobs, health care and infrastructure for people in historically underserved communities across the Rural Partners Network (RPN).
“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are committed to ensuring that people in rural areas have every opportunity to succeed – and that they can find those opportunities right at home in rural America,” Under Secretary Torres Small said. “From renewable energy and new jobs to clean water and quality health care, the Rural Partners Network is connecting rural people to resources that will help them create new and lasting prosperity on their own terms.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Patricia Dominguez commented, “We are very excited to be one of the first states to participate in the RPN network and our New Mexico team has been successfully identifying resources to build bright futures in rural communities here in New Mexico.”
The Biden-Harris Administration established RPN to transform the way federal agencies partner with and serve rural people and places, including Native American communities. Led by USDA with support from more than 20 federal agencies and commissions, RPN is central to President Biden’s commitment to ensure all rural people can benefit from federal resources. This includes historic funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.
Torres Small announced the $262 million in funding while visiting with people and organizations in North Carolina participating in RPN. While there, she unveiled an annual report documenting RPN’s accomplishments in its first year and how the network is helping to shape investment strategies for rural communities.
The funding announced today will support 68 projects in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico.
The funding will create jobs for rural people and help them expand their businesses. It will provide affordable, well-built homes for seniors and low-income families in rural areas. It will help farmers and ranchers transition to clean energy and find new and better markets for their products. And it will give people in remote areas access to modern water and wastewater systems, and quality education and health care services.
Five projects in the three Rural Partner Network regions in New Mexico are a good examples of the work that is providing financing to provide better opportunities in these communities:
- The Anthony Water and Sanitation District received a $5,541,000 a grant for the expansion of the waste-water treatment plant in Anthony, New Mexico. The funding will be used to upgrade the facility and to remedy an issue with discharging to the river. When completed the wastewater system will provide much needed improvement to the community's sewer services.
- The Deming Luna Economic Development received a $70,000 Rural Business Development Grant to coordinate with local business in the Deming and Luna County to provide technical training services in marketing, finance, budgeting, expanding, accounting principles, market segmentation, and personal financing assistance.
- New Mexico Wineries Inc. received a $99,791 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to purchase and install a 204.47 kWh ground mounted solar array in Deming, New Mexico. After the solar system is installed, it will generate more than 152.90 percent of the electricity that the business uses every year. New Mexico Wineries Inc. was established in 1981 and owns several vineyards whose harvests produce grapes for their wine making operation.
- 4-A Packing LLC of Las Cruces received a $250,000 Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) to be used to release a new Hatch Chile Bacon product(s) for both restaurant and individual consumer markets. 4-A Packing will peel and roast the New Mexico sourced green chile and add it to pre-cured bacon to further enhance the company's current product and service line.
- Backyard Farms LLC of Vado, New Mexico has received a $125,000 Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) to provide lyophilization a water removing processing technology for modification of locally grown fruits and vegetables into a freeze-dried value-added food product. The market expansion product is a ready-to-use cooking ingredient made of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables for meal preparations. The pantry packs will be ideal for large institutional cafeterias and culinary kitchen's meal preparations containing long-term preservation ingredients that can be added directly to soups and stews or rehydrated to assist a healthy and nutritious diet.
Background: Rural Partners Network
Launched in April 2022 and expanded in November 2022, the Rural Partners Network is now active in 36 community networks in 10 states and Puerto Rico.
Community networks receive on-the-ground support from full-time federal staff who live and work locally. These staff members provide technical assistance based on each community’s needs, helping them navigate federal programs, build relationships and prepare successful applications for funding.
RPN communities also benefit from coordination through other federal efforts such as the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization and President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative. The Rural Prosperity Interagency Policy Council, co-led by the White House Domestic Policy Council and USDA, advises the RPN program and shares lessons learned through RPN for policy consideration. A team of Rural Desk Officers representing each participating federal agency or regional commission supports the RPN program and community networks.
For more information on RPN, visit Rural.gov.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
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