Success Stories

A picture of Amber and her family in front of the house they built

The Home that Friends Built

As a single mother of two, Amber W. works as a youth counselor, a YMCA fitness instructor, and a dance instructor for children and adults with disabilities in Helena, Mont.  Amber had long dreamed of becoming a homeowner and, in 2021, her vision came to fruition through a… more

The Astoria Co-op installed rooftop solar panels to offset its energy use.

Rural Co-op Shines a Light on the Benefits of Solar Energy

Sustainability has been a fundamental tenant of the food cooperative movement since it began, and not only in terms of selling organic, sustainably-harvested food. Co-ops around the country are also turning to renewable energy. For the Astoria Co-op on the Oregon coast, that meant finding a way… more

Strawburb and Community Rebuilds interns worked with many new exterior siding materials including reclaimed wood, cement board, corrugated metal, and plaster.

Straw Bale Homes More Than a Dirt-Cheap Option

In Moab, Utah, Community Rebuilds literally takes dirt-cheap sustainable, highly energy-efficient materials to build affordable homes. With assistance from USDA Rural Development’s Mutual Self-Help program, individuals can apply to build a natural self-help home. more

The Trenton Volunteer Fire Department's new firehouse was dedicated in October 2020. USDA Rural Development invested $1 million into the new facility.

USDA Rural Development and Trenton VFD Team for Continued Success

People driving through the town of Trenton, North Carolina, are seeing a new building right off the downtown area.

This is a picture of the on-site solar array.

Practicing Sustainability on the Eastern Edge of Glacier National Park

In 2017, after years of planning, Sanford and Claire Stone realized their dream and broke ground on Park Cabin Company in Babb, Mont., an unincorporated farming and ranching community in Glacier County.

Their modern cabins are located on the… more

USDA provided a grant 0f $31,500 to assist in purchasing and outfit of a new rescue boat for Scuffleton. The town will use the boat to assist in water rescue in its home county and the surrounding areas.

Scuffleton & USDA RD work to keep NC Waterways Safe

The Scuffleton Rural Fire Services Inc. is taking steps to assure they are ready for the next water emergency effecting their area with the purchase of an aluminum rescue boat.

Photo of Corina Ponce and her son

USDA Helps Renovate Homeowner’s Safe Haven

Nearly three years ago, Corina Ponce had purchased a bank-owned home in Redfield, SD. She acquired the property knowing it had been vacant for a few years and needed major repairs.

heiwa tofu family photo

Solar Powered Tofu: Renewable Energy Powers Maine Business

From humble beginnings making tofu from their garage in Camden, to producing and distributing organic and locally-sourced tofu products throughout New England from their building in Rockport, the owners of Heiwa Tofu have always been focused on a “bright” future for their small business.

Sewer in the Yard

No Family Should Have Raw Sewage in Their Yard

Ellen called the Kitsap Public Health District in the summer of 2019 to report her failing septic system. When the health inspector arrived, a blue tarp was the only thing covering a dangerous hole filled with sewage. 

As a low-income senior citizen who lost her partner and… more

New Solar Array Helps Brewery Keep The Lights On

In rural Ord, Nebraska, Scratchtown Brewing Company, LLC is saving nearly 70 percent in energy costs thanks, in part, to a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) renewable energy grant more