Investments support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build back better in rural America
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has 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.
“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,” 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.”
USDA Rural Development New Jersey Acting State Director Brandon R. Pfeilmeier said, “Rural Development is helping rural New Jersey businesses in a variety of ways. Through financing a revolving loan fund for small and emerging microbusinesses to helping small agricultural businesses innovate through value-added activities, we are investing in job creation, economic growth, and prosperity in rural communities.”
In rural New Jersey, a total of five organizations or businesses will receive a total of $414,442 as follows:
- Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation, in Camden, has received a Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program Grant in the amount of $74,850. This Rural Development investment will be used to capitalize a rural microloan revolving fund to provide business based technical assistance and training to eligible rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. The purpose of the program is to provide microloans to help microenterprises startup and growth through a Rural Microloan Revolving Loan Fund and to provide training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and microentrepreneurs.
- The Naked Botanical, in Summit, has received a Value-Added Producer Grant in the amount of $36,380. This Rural Development investment will be used to improve marketing and design for herbal teas, hydrosols and salves for this woman-owned and operated, New Jersey certified organic herb farm located in Union County. Two new jobs will be created as a result of this project.
- Shippetaukin, LLC, dba Cherry Grove Farm, in Lawrence, has received a Value-Added Producer Grant in the amount of $236,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to launch new distribution using online tools, markets, and methods. Shippetaukin, LLC doing business as Cherry Grove Farm, is a diversified livestock farm located near Princeton, New Jersey. The farm adds value to their raw materials through processing. Their milk, honey, and eggs are processed on site. Cherry Grove's diverse product line is sold through three different distribution channels: farmers' markets, the farm store, and through wholesale distributors. This project will create two new full-time jobs for the farm.
- Stony Hill Gardens, LLC, in Chester, has received a Value-Added Producer Grant in the amount of $42,559. This Rural Development investment will be used for expenses related to the labeling, packaging and promotional planning to aid in the launch of a new business component within Stony Hill Gardens that will produce apple juices and wines.
- Two Rivers Gourmet Mushrooms, LLC, in Sea Bright, has received a Value-Added Producer Grant in the amount of $24,653. This Rural Development investment will be used for operating expenses to process mushrooms into broth. The goal of the project is to increase Two River Gourmet Mushroom LLC's customer base and give current customers additional product offerings.
The funding announced today will help people and businesses in diverse communities and industries throughout 49 states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers. It will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. And it 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.
Vilsack highlighted 751 investments that USDA is making in 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) Grant, 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.
The awards Vilsack announced today are being made in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
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 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.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.