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Success Stories

“This is Home” – A Family Finds Their Forever Home in Calais, Maine

One of the first rooms Heather Gagne and her daughters began redecorating in their new home is the dining room, shown in the top photo. They have been busy repainting and making other updates. Raising a family in coastal Machias, Maine may sound lovely, but for Heather Gagne recent years proved stressful. There were few housing options in their Downeast community, and Heather was glad to find a rental home to…

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Use the filters below to find additional stories about how our programs have helped rural communities across the nation.

Search Results: 32 Stories
Three people standing next to a sign that say S.P.O.T.

Rural Business Development Grant and Nonprofit Boost Local Businesses

Peñasco, a small mountain town in northern New Mexico, sits along the High Road to Taos, a scenic byway in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Despite its small size, Peñasco offers a surprising amount to the area. The town enjoys a variety of restaurants and businesses… [Read More]
Four people stand in front of a café counter

Healthy Food Financing Initiative Helps Spread the Power and Love of Local Food in New Mexico

When you’re planning to spend a day at a museum, a couple logistical questions might come to mind: What am I going to eat? Is the food going to be too expensive and not good? Luckily for those who visit Albuquerque’s Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum, local, healthy… [Read More]
Molly and Everett pose with dog Cricket in front of their barn with the solar panels on the roof.

REAP Helps Nettie Fox Farm Step Away from Fossil Fuels

Nestled in the gently rolling hills of Newburgh, Maine, Nettie Fox Farm produces certified organic vegetables. Molly Crouse founded the farm in 2009. In 2013 her partner, Everett Ottinger, joined her in operating the 33-acre spread. They began steadily increasing the… [Read More]
A photo of a man and a woman holding packages of cheese and smiling is inset against a photo of a long driveway bordered by trees and fields with a "cattle crossing" sign on the right side.

VAPG Provides a Buffer for a Maine Organic Creamery

Co-owners of Balfour Farm in Pittsfield, Heather and Doug Donahue have adapted to many changes as dairy farmers. First, they switched careers and began farming in 2004. They learned about farming and experimented with different breeds. Next came a move a move from New York to… [Read More]
Woman standing in kitchen next to basket of processed meat products

Grant Makes Dream a Reality for Montana Small Business

In southwestern Fallon County near Ismay, a long, gravel road crisscrosses a landscape reminiscent of the Badlands. Twenty miles down the road through a beautiful valley brings one to Crescent Cross Ranch, home to a fourth generation Montana ranching family, the Lanes. … [Read More]
Ranchers in pasture with their cows

Todd Family Meats Raised with Love from Montana

On a small, abandoned generational ranch along the banks of the Yellowstone River just outside Big Timber, ranchers Heidi and Gary Todd ring the dinner bell, calling their cattle herd to a feast of hay protein snacks. Starting with six cows in 2007 and building the herd slowly… [Read More]
Image of people in a boat

Working Together for Change on Spruce Head Island: Maine Oyster Company Goes Green with REAP Grant

Entrepreneurs must weigh every potential expense carefully. This is certainly true for Krista Tripp, owner of a lobster business and commercial oyster farm on Sprucehead Island, ME. Her company, Aphrodite Oysters, markets its fresh seafood directly to consumers and through area… [Read More]
Rattazzi's Locker staff

Any way you slice it, meat lockers remain vital to rural communities

A dream was realized in 1990 when Nowell “Shorty” Hofer began construction on Shorty’s Locker and retail store on the edge of Mitchell. When Shorty passed away from cancer in 2021, he left a hole in the community and an uncertain future for the local meat locker. Devin and… [Read More]
State Director Julia Hnilicka smiles at local business owner Henry Krull as he bags up lettuce and explains hydroponic farming.

Green energy: photovoltaic array powers growth of Alaskan produce business

During a good year, Alaska’s outdoor growing season is three months for most lettuces and herbs, so providing greens for a community year-round is a feat in itself. Doing so sustainably is another challenge entirely! In 2018, innovator Henry Krull and his family decided to… [Read More]
People cooking in the kitchen

Hope & Main Nourishes Neighbors in Warren, RI

Like most people in the service industry, Lisa Raiola of the Hope & Main (HM) food incubator in Warren, Rhode Island, had to reimagine her operation due to COVID’s devastating impacts. With a 30-year career focused on distributive justice, her first move tackled area food… [Read More]