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African Ministers and Companies Come to Kansas City to Do Business

African ministers and entrepreneurs listen to translation as Under Secretary Jim Miller speaks about investing in the agricultural value chain.

African ministers and entrepreneurs listen to translation as Under Secretary Jim Miller speaks about investing in the agricultural value chain.

Last week I was in Kansas City to participate in the 9th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum. AGOA seeks to strengthen the trade relationship between the United States and Africa by reducing tariffs on thousands of African products and providing technical assistance to boost African exports while stimulating economic growth and investment.  Each year, the AGOA forum alternates between Washington, D.C. and an African country host.  To celebrate AGOA’s tenth year, we decided to do something new, hosting the first half of the forum in Washington, DC and the second portion in Kansas City. Read more »

Recovery Act Broadband Award Helps a Kansas Family Owned Rural Telephone Company and Provides Broadband to Rural Residents

Robert Koch, President and General Manager of H&B Communications in Holyrood, Kansas, stands in front of a mural highlighting milestones in his family's telecommunications business.

Robert Koch, President and General Manager of H&B Communications in Holyrood, Kansas, stands in front of a mural highlighting milestones in his family's telecommunications business.

Robert Koch, President and General Manager of H&B Communications in Holyrood, Kansas, displays the story of his family owned rural telephone company on the wall behind his desk.  The mural, painted by an area artist, highlights the advancement in telecommunications since the company was founded in the 1950’s by Robert’s grandparents.  The historical image also features two of the three generations of family ownership including his mother and grandmother who served as telephone operators in the early decades of the company. Read more »

Recovery Act Launches a Shooting Star, Funds for New Farmers Paying Dividends

 

Matt McCue and Lily Schneider of Shooting Star CSA survived the process of becoming a California Certified Organic Farm.  They use no chemicals or pesticides, and rely on practices that reduce impact on the environment.

Matt McCue and Lily Schneider of Shooting Star CSA survived the process of becoming a California Certified Organic Farm. They use no chemicals or pesticides, and rely on practices that reduce impact on the environment.

 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) made many significant investments in small private enterprises in rural America. Shooting Star is a farm in Northern California where that investment is paying dividends.

Funds from ARRA, better known as the Recovery Act, made it possible for Matt McCue and Lily Schneider to launch their new farming venture in verdant Suisun Valley. They took the name Shooting Star from a colorful flower growing on nearby hillsides. This young couple, both in their mid-20s, started their organic operation with the help of two Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans, one funded by the Recovery Act. And they are grateful. Read more »

USDA Business Programs Administrator Makes Recovery Summer Tour Stops and Addresses Financial Leaders in Nebraska

 

Administrator Canales, the Mayor and Library officials review the plans for the future Pawnee City Public Library. The building is being funded with USDA Recovery Act support.

Administrator Canales, the Mayor and Library officials review the plans for the future Pawnee City Public Library. The building is being funded with USDA Recovery Act support.

USDA Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs Judy Canales joined Nebraska Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul and staff earlier this month for Recovery Summer Tour stops in Pawnee City and the future Pawnee City Public Library. Read more »