On Thursday Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager participated in Trade Talk during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) convention in Kansas City.
At the six-hour trade-show-type event, the Under Secretary was interviewed by 26 different farm broadcasters representing local radio and television stations, as well as state and regional networks with a combined 730 affiliate stations all across the country. One of the interviews was conducted by Gary Jackson with ABN Radio/Buckeye Ag Radio Network.
One of the main topics he talked about was how USDA Rural Development is working to distribute funds made available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Since the start of ARRA, USDA Rural Development has announced nearly $10 billion in guaranteed loans and $322 million in direct loans to help residents buy or refinance single-family homes and helped fund nearly 500 projects to build or repair water and/or wastewater infrastructure systems in rural communities.
Funds from USDA Rural Development have also assisted with community facility projects such as libraries, childcare centers, and first responder vehicles and equipment, and helped nearly 180 rural businesses create or retain jobs through guaranteed loan and grant funds.
In the coming months USDA Rural Development will be providing $2.5 billion in ARRA funds for projects that will provide broadband services to rural communities, and will continue assisting rural businesses, communities and homeowners through numerous loan and grant programs.