U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri State Director Jeff Case today announced USDA is investing $14 million to improve rural electric infrastructure for nine Missouri counties.
“For over 80 years, USDA Rural Development has made maintaining, expanding, upgrading, and modernizing rural electric infrastructure a priority through its electric programs,” said Case. “Today, I am pleased to announce our latest project with Farmer’s Electric Cooperative will assist in providing reliable, affordable electricity to cooperative members.”
Farmer’s Electric Cooperative will use the Rural Development investment to connect 726 customers and build and improve 114 miles of distribution line. This loan includes $240,000 in smart grid technologies. Farmers' serves more than 13,000 members over 3,699 miles of line in Linn, Clinton, Carroll, Caldwell, Daviess, DeKalb, Chariton, Livingston and Ray counties.
Today’s announcements is in coordination with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s recent announcement that the USDA is investing $1.4 billion in projects to build and improve rural electric infrastructure in 21 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin. These projects will help build and improve 6,886 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. The loans include $255.8 million for investments in smart grid infrastructure that uses digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
“Modern and reliable electric infrastructure has been a cornerstone to rural prosperity since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936,” Secretary Perdue said. “This funding we are providing is critical to rural communities and reflects President Trump’s commitment to increasing prosperity across all of rural America. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas.
Contact USDA Rural Development
Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/mo or by calling (573) 876-0976.
USDA Rural Development has 25 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri. Office locations include a State Office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.