DES MOINES, April 26, 2022 – In honor of Earth Day 2022, Theresa Greenfield, Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director in Iowa, announced that USDA is investing over $4 million in 28 Iowa projects to improve community infrastructure and to expand access to clean energy for people living in disadvantaged communities. These investments will strengthen the health and livelihoods of people across rural Iowa.
The announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour, during which Biden Administration officials are traveling to dozens of rural communities to talk about the impact of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments, as well as President Biden’s broader commitment to ensure federal resources reach all communities in rural America. This announcement also furthers the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which commits to delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities.
“With these latest grants to cities and businesses across the state of Iowa, USDA is helping our rural communities provide responsive emergency services, better equipped hospitals and safer, more accessible streets,” said Director Greenfield. “By investing in our rural hometowns, USDA spurs economic growth to make a positive difference in the lives of Iowans.”
Today’s news is part of a larger announcement USDA is making for nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. View the list of 28 Iowa projects.
Advancing Equity in Rural Communities
USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s key priorities of investing in rural communities to ensure people have equitable access to critical resources and to combat the climate crisis. Investments in these communities will make an impact for generations to come, especially in communities that have been socially vulnerable, distressed, and underserved for far too long.
Clean Energy Infrastructure and Energy Efficiency Improvements
In Iowa, USDA is investing $79,500 in four renewable energy infrastructure projects to help agricultural producers and rural small business owners lower energy costs, make energy-efficiency improvements, and reduce their carbon footprint to make their business operations more cost-effective. The Department is making the investments under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
Infrastructure Improvements for Communities Hit by Severe Weather
USDA is investing $3,934,200 million in Iowa to help rural communities hit by severe weather. The Department is making the investments under the Community Facilities Disaster Grants.
For example, the city of Protivin will use a $7,000 Community Facilities Disaster Grant to purchase and install a generator and a power washer. The project will locate and install both units at the city's emergency shelter. The generator will provide electricity essential for the safe operation of the shelter during emergencies and severe weather events.
Background: Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour
Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA and its federal partners in the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force are working with rural communities to deliver on the promise of support for rural America.
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.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Iowa, call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
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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