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USDA Invests $18.6 Million to Support Local Businesses, Create Good-Paying Jobs and Strengthen the Economy in Rural Iowa

Name
Cecilia Lynch
City
Des Moines
Release Date
Feb 02, 2022

Investments support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build back better in rural America

DES MOINES, Feb. 2, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the Department is investing $1.4 billion to help a diverse rural America keep resources and wealth right at home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance.
Across Iowa, USDA invested in 17 projects—$17,343,536 in loans and $1,345,465 in grants.

“For some time, rural America has been at the mercy of an extraction economy, where resources are taken from rural lands only to create jobs and economic opportunity in urban and suburban areas,” Secretary Vilsack said. “That’s why USDA is committed to doing what we can to change that extraction economy into a circular economy, where value is added closer to home, so the wealth created in rural areas stays in rural areas. Today’s announcement underlines the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to helping transform the economy and bring high-paying jobs and economic opportunities to the people who need it most.”

“Rural businesses anchor the rural communities they serve,” said Theresa Greenfield, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. “The investments being announced today reflect the great value we place on jobs and people that may be far from urban centers. When we invest in rural business, we spur opportunities for rural Iowans to be a part of a thriving economy that benefits all of America.”

View the list of Iowa projects here. For example:

  • In northwest Iowa, the Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation will use a $500,000 loan from the Intermediary Relending Program to expand the lending capacity of a revolving loan fund. The Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation will then use the funds to finance economic development projects by re-lending the funds to businesses in Sheldon.
  • In south central Iowa, the Pella Cooperative Electric Association will use a $300,000 grant from the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program to replenish the association’s revolving loan fund, which will facilitate construction of a women’s assisted living home for adults with disabilities. 
  • In Taylor County, in southwest Iowa, the Kerns Farms Corporation will use a $167,019 Value-Added Producer Grant to assist with market expansion and pork processing fees for specialty retail cuts and specialty ground products. The Kerns Farms Corporation is a leading producer of heritage breed Mangalitsa pigs in the United States.

 

Background:
State Director Greenfield highlighted investments that USDA is making in five 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 Economic Development Loan and Grant Program,  Intermediary Relending Program and Value-Added Producer Grants.

Contact USDA Rural Development

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.

Under the leadership of 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.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of 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.

 

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.