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USDA Invests Over $15 Million to Support Local Businesses in North Dakota

Christopher Freeman
Release Date
Feb 02, 2022

BISMARCK, N.D., Feb. 2, 2022 Acting State Director for USDA Rural Development North Dakota Mark Wax today announced the Department is investing $15 million to help a diverse rural America keep resources and wealth right at home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance.

“Rural economies provide many of the goods we enjoy across the nation,” said Wax. “Projects like the ones announced today not only highlight that but show the partnership we pride ourselves on with those producers and companies. Every day we work to empower rural businesses, and these projects will help them remain competitive while expanding and growing their operations.”

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.


For example:

  • In Maryland, military veteran- and family-owned Diparma Farms will use a $33,530 Value-Added Producer Grant to expand its free-range poultry operations. The funds will help pay operating costs associated with processing and marketing packaged free-range chicken, duck and turkey products. The project will help the business expand its customer base through partnerships with local beef and cheese producers in Washington County and surrounding areas, leading to an anticipated increase in revenue.
  • In Pennsylvania, Castanea Farm LLC will use a $10,244 Value-Added Producer Grant to help the family-operated farm market and sell chestnuts. The project is expected to increase its customer base by 25% and revenue by $2 per pound over a two-year period.
  • In Nebraska, Native360 Loan Fund Inc. will use an $8,701 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program grant to provide business-based training and technical assistance to rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises in 12 Nebraska counties. Native360 Loan Fund’s mission is to provide affordable credit, capital, technical assistance and related programs to help build strong and self-sufficient Native American business owners.


In North Dakota:

  • Red Trail Energy LLC will use a $10 million loan to help farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses in developing renewable energy systems, and in making energy-efficiency improvements to its operations.  Red Trail Energy LLC is a locally owned and operated 50-gallon ethanol production facility near Richardton, N.D.  Project funds will be used to construct a carbon capture processing and storage facility onto an existing ethanol manufacturing facility.  The project will lower the reduce the carbon intensity score of its produced ethanol by 40 to 50 percent and allow distribution to low carbon fuel standard markets.
  • North American Bison LLC will use a $4.5 million loan to construct an addition to an existing bison processing facility in New Rockford, ND. This project will create three jobs in the rural community.
  • The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives will use a $200,000 grant to provide technical assistance to cooperatives and mutually owned businesses in an effort to service rural areas in North Dakota. The support offered from this investment will help improve the quality of life and economic conditions of rural areas throughout the state of North Dakota.
  • The Oyate Community Development Group will use a $186,550 grant to provide technical assistance such as business plan writing, market research, and other business development needs to both potential and existing businesses on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The technical assistance grant funds will be matched with $27,982.50 from Oyate Development Corporation and utilized to pay for staff time to conduct the technical assistance.
  • The Lake Agassiz Regional Development Corporation will use a $52,073 grant to provide technical assistance to cooperatives and mutually owned businesses in an effort to service rural areas in North Dakota. The support offered from this investment will help improve the quality of life and economic conditions of rural areas throughout the state of North Dakota.
  • Cows and Co. Creamery LLC will use a $250,000 Value Added Producer Grant for working capital costs to process raw milk into gelato, gouda cheese and cheese curds.  Funds will help pay for ingredients, packaging, personnel and utilities.
  • North American Bison LLC will use a $250,000 Value Added Producer Grant for tasks associated with the 'Develop Mexico Market', which includes marketing, intake of delivered bison meat, and processing of meat into the butchered meats. The goal is to expand the sales of bison meat in the Mexican market.

Vilsack highlighted 751 investments that USDA is making in eight programs across the nation 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.

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.