June is homeownership month — an opportunity for us to highlight the important role housing plays in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities and contributing to the economy. Since the start of the current fiscal year, which began last October 1, USDA Rural Development has financed approximately 80,000 home loans for rural residents. Read more »
Working to protect American agriculture is no small task. On any given day the people at the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) work vigorously to protect livestock, fruits, vegetables and other commodities from pests and diseases. During the spring of 2011, I served as a legislative intern for APHIS’ Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA). Working in LPA, I helped APHIS’ efforts to safeguard the health and viability of America’s agriculture and natural resources by ensuring effective communication with Congress, the States, industry and stakeholders. Read more »
USDA South Dakota Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks took a tour of the flood control preparations underway in Pierre and Ft. Pierre, last Thursday. A number of homes are threatened, including those financed by government agencies, including USDA.
Residents are preparing for the worst as the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers increase water flow from the Oahe Dam from 85,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) to 150,000 CFS. Flooding is imminent in the communities because of rising water levels on the Missouri River. Read more »