INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Feb. 2, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Acting State Director for Indiana Curtis Johnson today announced the Department is investing $13.4 million to help rural America keep resources and wealth at home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance.
“The investments being announced here today serve as a key economic driver in rural communities, as the impact of capital used to hire, purchase and contract locally multiplies as it recirculates throughout the local economy,” Johnson said. “Our staff is committed to helping support economic expansion of rural communities by stimulating new opportunities and high-paying jobs so that wealth created in rural areas stays in rural areas.”
Johnson highlighted 12 investments that will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers. They will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. And they will help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers in nearly every state create jobs, grow businesses, and find new and better markets for the items they produce.
- This Old Farm Inc. will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to increase processing, marketing, and delivery of locally raised lamb products to area consumers.
- Fulton County REMC will use a $190,000 grant from the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program to establish a revolving loan fund. The initial funds will be loaned to Fulton County Economic Development Corp to extend Blacketor Drive into the industrial park. The extension will allow access to new business building sites within the industrial park. The infrastructure improvements will enable business development and expansion in the area and is expected to bring 50 new jobs to Fulton County.
- The Indiana Cooperative Development Center Inc. will use a $200,000 Rural Cooperative Development Grant to provide technical assistance, education and access to resources and information to assist individuals and entities in the startup, expansion, or operational improvement of rural businesses, especially cooperative or mutually owned businesses. This project will help to create 10 new jobs.
Today’s investments are part of a larger nationwide announcement made by U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack who highlighted 751 investments totaling $1.4 billion. USDA is funding these investments through eight programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs include Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantees, which provided record-breaking investments in fiscal year 2021, and the B&I CARES Act Program, which has helped create thousands of jobs with funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Programs also include Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grants, Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, Intermediary Relending Program and Value-Added Producer Grants.
These programs are part of a suite of business and cooperative services that are projected to help create or save more than 50,000 jobs in rural America through investments made in fiscal year 2021.
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/in. USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that will support key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help rural America build back better and stronger. Key priorities include combating the COVID-19 pandemic; addressing the impacts of climate change; and advancing equity in rural America. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.