Lillian Salerno, Administrator for USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business – Cooperative Service (RBS) today kicked off a three-state Midwest tour to highlight USDA investments that are helping expand emerging economic opportunities in the bio-economy.
During the tour, Administrator Salerno is also hosting roundtable discussions with rural partners, lenders, economic developers and stakeholders to address ways USDA Rural Development programs can help further advance job creation in rural America.
A report issued earlier this month indicates USDA Rural Development initiatives helped create 75,000 jobs across the nation in 2013.
“Creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity for rural small businesses are top priorities for this Administration,” Salerno said. “The new Farm Bill expands the potential for economic growth in rural America by maintaining momentum for the emerging bio-based industry and the more than 3,000 bio-based companies across the country.”
Administrator Salerno today visited Quad County Corn Processors near Galva, Iowa. Quad County Corn Processors has received nearly $22 million in guaranteed loan funding from USDA Rural Development since opening 13 years ago. Employees at the facility USDA Administrator Highlights Biofuels Industry are currently working on a process of turning corn kernel fibers into cellulosic ethanol which is predicted to boost the plant’s ethanol production.
Later today Administrator Salerno will hold rural roundtable discussions in nearby Holstein, Iowa and South Sioux City, Nebraska, to hear from a variety of rural partners as they share their thoughts about the opportunities and challenges see as they work to create jobs and expand economic opportunities in rural America.
Her day will conclude with a visit to Laurel BioComposite, LLC in Laurel, Nebraska. The company received a $5 million guaranteed loan from Rural Development to purchase equipment required for production and provide working capital during the first year of operation helping create nine jobs and retain three.
Laurel Biocomposite is the first company in the country to produce new products for use in the plastics industry by converting distiller’s grain into a pellet or powder product that replaces and/or enhances traditional petroleum-based resins in various plastics manufacturing processes.
On Tuesday, Administrator Salerno will visit Toronto, South Dakota, where Deuel Area Development Inc. (DADI) received a $99,900 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to provide technical assistance to small businesses in Deuel County. In partnership with the Deubrook Area School, DADI created a commercial kitchen incubator where local producers and local chefs can process food.
She will then participate in a bioeconomy listening session at South Dakota State University in Brookings.
For more information about finance programs available through USDA Rural Development visit www.rurdev.usda.gov.
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.