USDA Rural Development celebrated Earth Day by visiting the elementary school in Hill City. Karen Thompson, City of Bogue Council President, was presented with an Earth Day Award. USDA Rural Development is providing the city of Bogue with a $881,000 loan and a $1.15 million grant to install a water transmission line from Hill City to the City of Bogue, and to build a new water tower.
“As we celebrate Earth Day, it is important to highlight the infrastructure below our rural communities that make accessing clean drinking water possible, and that provide a safe disposal of our waste,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark.” “Water and wastewater infrastructure are the foundation to a successful rural community.”
Nationwide, USDA is investing $183 million in 60 water and wastewater infrastructure projects through Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program (WEP), which provides technical assistance and financing to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems for communities with fewer than 10,000 residents.
While visiting the Hill City Elementary School, USDA Rural Development staff planted lettuce seeds with the school’s two first-grade classes. First grade students also watched a groundwater module presented by Doug Helmke with the Kansas Rural Water Association.
This WEP funding builds on USDA's historic investments in rural America over the past seven years. Since 2009, USDA has worked to strengthen and support rural communities and American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials.
USDA has provided $5.6 billion to farmers and ranchers for disaster relief; expanded risk management tools with products such as Whole Farm Revenue Protection; helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit; provided $4.3 billion in critical agricultural research; established innovative public-private conservation partnerships such as the Regional Conservation Partnership Program; developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America.
Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (#USDARD) has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; financed 180,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.