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Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul Celebrates Distance Learning Funding to ESU 13 at Scottsbluff

Vicki Schurman
Release Date

USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul visited Educational Service Unit 13 in Scottsbluff today to present a plaque for being awarded $500,000 to further their distance learning capabilities.

ESU #13 will utilize the funds to expand the distance learning video network to all 21 school districts in their service area. Schools in Alliance, Bayard, Bridgeport, Chadron, Crawford, Chappell, Dalton, Gering, Gordon, Harrison, Hay Springs, Hemingford, Kimball, Lodgepole, Lewellen, Oshkosh, Minatare, Scottsbluff, Gordon, Rushville, Mitchell, Morrill, Harrisburg, Potter, Sidney and others will benefit from a host of new educational content. The funds will be used to enhance curricula in modern agriculture and agri-business, and enable and train from the Future Farmers of America. Also part of this project is an innovative partnership with the two national monuments in the ESU#13 service area, Scotts Bluff National Monument and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. Area schools will be able to access the many resources at each site through virtual field trip opportunities.

“It is essential to expand distance learning so we can expand education to our youth,” said Moul. “It is with great pleasure Rural Development is able to assist in the ESU’s distance learning efforts.”

 “Distance learning has been a vital component to the school districts in western Nebraska for several years,” said BJ Peters, ESU 13 Technology Director and Distance Learning Coordinator. “These USDA grant funds will allow our schools to stay on the leading edge of video conferencing technology for many years to come and provide our students quality educational opportunities regardless of their location.”

 For more information on the Distance Learning and Telemedicine program in Nebraska contact Andre Boening at andre.boening@wdc.usda.gov; cell 402-689-8564.

  For more information contact the Rural Development office nearest you.  You can locate an office by visiting:  http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/NE-ContactUs.html.  Visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne for information on all of Rural Development’s programs.

 For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2012. The data can be found at:  http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.

 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.