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USDA Under Secretary Torres Small Visits Schulte Dairy in Norway Iowa to Announce $74.7 Million In Investments for Rural Iowa Projects

Cecilia Lynch
Release Date

Tour of Northeast Iowa Dairy Highlights Commitment to the Rural Economy

NORWAY, Iowa, Feb. 1, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small today announced the Department is investing $74,711,045 in 21 projects to improve critical infrastructure and expand business in rural Iowa. She announced the investments at a tour of the Austin Schulte Dairy, a milk production farm operation. The dairy’s owner is receiving a $36,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to create a business plan and provide for a feasibility study on making value-added cheese at the dairy.

“The USDA funding announced today invests in the rural people who make Iowa a better place to work, live, and do business,” said Torres Small. “Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice-President Harris, and Secretary Vilsack, we are committed strengthening rural medical services, diversifying food production, and making sure everyone has access to clean water, no matter where they live.”

A list of the 21 projects may be found here. The projects are receiving funding through seven USDA Rural Development programs: Value-Added Producer Grant; Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants; Emergency Rural Health Care Grants; Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant; Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants; Rural Business Development Grants; and Community Facilities Disaster Technical Assistance and Training.

For example:

-Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah is receiving a $35,000,000 loan to finance a
construction project to replace facilities that are outdated and small. This project will renovate the birthing center, expand and renovate the surgical services departments, and expand and renovate the primary and specialty care clinics. Once completed, the project will provide improved essential health care services to residents of Winneshiek County and surrounding counties. Funding is through the
Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants program.

-Iowa Lakes Regional Water, a water utility organization in northwest Iowa, is receiving a $1,730,000 loan and a $ 1,000,000 grant to expand service. This project will extend services lines to an additional 96 new rural water customers within the water district service area. Once completed, the project will increase access to clean, safe water and promote the health of residents in Dickinson County. Funding is through the Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants program.

-Mahaska County is receiving a $140,000 grant to make road improvements. This project will upgrade the access road to Oldcastle Materials, a manufacturer of bagged and bulk mulch and soil located near Oskaloosa, Iowa. This project is expected to promote small businesses and create at least two new jobs. Funding is through the Rural Business Development Grants program.

Contact USDA Rural Development

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Iowa, call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia. If you would  like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

Under 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 Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and 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.