The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development invested over $531 million in 2019 to build prosperity and strengthen South Dakota’s rural communities, announced State Director Julie Gross today.
“At USDA Rural Development, we are committed to helping improve the quality of life in rural America and want to continue to be rural communities’ partner for progress, because together, America prospers,” said Gross. “Overall, Rural Development is the agency that provides loans and grants to improve high-speed internet access, community facilities, water and waste water infrastructure, affordable rural housing, and economic development opportunities for rural businesses, and agricultural producers to help South Dakota remain a desirable location for both businesses and families. Through collaboration and partnerships, we have invested in business development and family-supporting jobs, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Below is a summary of South Dakota USDA Rural Development’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 key accomplishments in South Dakota:
- Invested over $302 million in electric, telecom, broadband, and distance learning and telemedicine services. State-of-the-art Fiber-to-the-Home service helped underserved rural communities to improve transmission lines, expand existing distance learning and systems for students and teachers, and allowed rural hospitals to connect to board-certified emergency medicine specialists to increase the quality of life for rural South Dakota residents.
- Invested over $43 million to expand access to safe drinking water or improve wastewater management systems benefitting nearly 68,000 South Dakotans.
Quality of Life
- Provided more than $131 million in homeownership loan guarantees to help 916 low-and moderate- income rural South Dakota residents purchase a home.
- Invested $499,999 in a distance learning project that will make it easier for nearly 11,000 rural South Dakotans to take advantage of education opportunities without having to travel long distances.
- Invested over $5.7 million in loans and grants for essential community facilities and equipment – such as fire departments, city halls, ambulances - that will benefit over 11,900 rural South Dakota residents.
- Invested over $12.4 million in Business and Industry loan guarantees that enabled businesses to create or save 788 rural South Dakota jobs.
- Invested over $482,000 in 13 energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy development assistance projects through the Rural Energy for America Program.
The funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the loan and grant agreements.
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. Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/sd.