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USDA Recovery Act Funding Helps a South Dakota Rural Learning Center Become a Reality

USDA and local officials in front of a rendering of the newly designed learning facility.

USDA and local officials in front of a rendering of the newly designed learning facility.

The Miner County Development Corporation (MCDC) in Howard, South Dakota, broke ground recently on a new learning center complex with the assistance from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).  Funding was provided through a USDA Rural Development Business & Industry Loan in the amount of $3.2 million guaranteed through Miner County Bank in Howard.

 A Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certified conference and training center, the facility will also include lodging, a community kitchen, restaurant, and dining room. The MCDC will lease the conference and training portion of the facility to the Rural Learning Center (RLC).  It is planned that the facility will house cutting edge green energy training programs that bring communities, high school and adult students, technical institute programs, and the renewable energy industry together. 

“It will be a learning facility for businesses, industries, and individuals, so that they can find out what it means to be green,” said Randy Parry, RLC President, indicating that he expects the RLC   to draw from the surrounding area.

“This business and community development project exemplifies partnerships at work. USDA Rural Development is just one of the partners that helped to make this project happen. It is the people of Howard and Miner County that made the decision to not let Miner County be another rural community in decline. USDA and the Obama Administration are proud that we can be a part of the solution to rebuilding this rural community,” said Rural Development South Dakota State Director Elsie Meeks.  “Rural Development’s B&I Loan Program enables banks to provide quality loans to small businesses through a USDA loan guarantee and, as a result, provides lasting benefits to the overall community.”

Randy Parry, Rural Learning Center president, discusses financing for the project.

Randy Parry, Rural Learning Center president, discusses financing for the project.

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