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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: 67 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]
Five people pose for a photo in a tire shop garage area

USDA Grant Helps Expand Tire Repair Service

Turning away customers is something no business owner ever wants to do, but that is exactly what employees at Traveler’s Service Station in Peñasco, New Mexico, had to do. Fortunately, the local nonprofit MAS Comunidad helped them purchase new equipment with funds from a USDA… [Read More]
Man stands next to farm equipment

USDA Grant Helps Rancher Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Peñasco, New Mexico is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone, and a lot of people have multiple jobs in the community. It’s the kind of place where you might go into an automotive shop and end up talking to the local water association vice president. Ivan Roybal,… [Read More]
Molly and Jesse of Piper Mountain Christmas Trees stand in front of a vintage blue pickup truck with their two children. In the background there is a red barn and a distant hill.

Beginning Farmers Use REAP Grant to Make Their Christmas Tree Farm Greener

Molly Livingston and Jesse Jimerson were living in Northern Nevada while looking for an opportunity to get into farming. When they heard that Piper Mountain Christmas Tree Farm in Newburgh, Maine was for sale, they were interested. The farm had been in business since 1978 and… [Read More]
A woman and man stand in front of a pontoon boat with a banner that says the company name, "Wilde Recreation."

Nurturing Dreams and Livelihoods: Local Partner in Northern Maine Makes USDA Financing Easy to Access

After a long career in software development, Marci Wilde was ready for a change of vocation. Being a recreation enthusiast herself, she knew how much folks love to enjoy the trails, woods, and lakes year-round, especially up north. So, she packed up and moved to rural Cross Lake… [Read More]
Maine Flower Collective photo by Gina Bartholomew with Left to Right, Courtney Mongell, Melissa Law, Andrea Ault, Michelle Jones, Mary Lou Hoskins, Carolyn Snell

Maine Flower Collective blooms and grows after first year

In a world where imported blooms typically dominate our bouquets and arrangements, there remains a healthy demand for local, seasonal flowers in Maine. Ranunculus, Lisianthus, dahlias, and hydrangeas are popular for being the beautiful workhorses of flower designs, but they don’… [Read More]
Staff from HH Design in Britton, SD

HH Design selected as Young Entrepreneur of the Year by SBA

Submitted by GROW SOUTH DAKOTA Hillarey Warner owner of HH Design in Britton, South Dakota, was selected to be the U.S. Small Business Administration’s South Dakota 2024 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, after being nominated by GROW SD. After graduating from Northern State… [Read More]
Man and child standing under corn hung to dry

USDA Grants Help Farmer Care for Apple Orchards, Maintain Blue Corn Lineages

After traveling down a long, narrow dirt road in Dixon, New Mexico, I eventually came to the production area for La Mesa Farms. There, more than 5,000 beautiful ears of blue corn were hung up to dry for the winter. They would soon be taken down, and the corn removed from the cob… [Read More]
State Director for Rural Development in Pennsylvania inspects a Hemp Block at Alvernia University.

Hemp Blocks Add Value to Pennsylvanians and the Planet

The Value-Added Producer Grant or VAPG program can help emerging industries take the next steps to becoming viable and expand their markets. Just ask Drew Oberholtzer, the co-founder of Coexist Build, which was the 2021 recipient of a VAPG for hemp blocks. Coexist, located in… [Read More]
Sprocket Paducah

West KY nonprofit looks to level tech jobs, entrepreneurship playing field

Spend time with anyone involved in economic development in rural Kentucky, and you’ll hear different ideas about what will bring meaningful prosperity to the region. Some hang their hat on recreation activities like motorsports and responsible use of natural resources (… [Read More]