Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA invested in nearly 400 projects to provide essential services for more than 7 million people in rural areas across the country in Fiscal Year 2017.
“Partnering with our small towns and cities to support essential services that rural residents need is one way USDA is facilitating prosperity in rural America,” Perdue said. “These investments will help communities significantly improve their schools, hospitals and public safety facilities and improve the quality of life.”
USDA infused over $50.4 million into rural areas in Texas in 2017 through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program for projects such as schools, municipal centers, first responder vehicles and equipment, social service buildings, and other community needs. These investments are helping improve the lives of over 50,000 rural residents.
“USDA is pleased to provide Community Facilities funding for these rural communities,” said Texas State Director Edd Hargett. “These federal funds will help the communities provide valuable services to their residents.”
Below are some examples of projects USDA helped finance in Texas in 2017:
- NCCD – Blinn College Properties LLC in Blinn, Texas, received a $33 million loan to build a 464-bed, 170,400-square-foot dormitory on the campus of Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. The building will be used primarily for full-time engineering and agriculture students to help meet the growing demand for on-campus housing.
- Bacliff VFD received a $174,600 loan to purchase a new brush truck. The brush truck will be used to extinguish small fires off road, and other fires when it is not feasible for big engine trucks to be utilized.
- Edcouch-Elsa ISD received a $8,540,000 loan to build a Career and Technology Program building and a maintenance facility building for the District. The new facilities will provide educational classrooms, vocational shop spaces, a livestock building, a greenhouse, and a new maintenance building and provide the District with the opportunity to offer various certification programs to the students.
- Old River-Winfree VFD, Inc., received a loan of $36,000 to purchase a used chassis to be placed on an existing vehicle to keep it operational and in compliance.
- Brazos County ESD 4 received a loan of $160,000 for the purchase of a new pumper truck. They are currently operating without a pumper truck.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump, which included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.