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North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Indian Reservation Breaks Ground on a Recovery Act Project to Bring Broadband to Rural Residents

An excited crowd gathered in New Town, North Dakota, last week for the groundbreaking of a major broadband infrastructure project.  Reservation Telephone Cooperative (RTC) received funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) to provide broadband service to rural residents of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and the surrounding area. Read more »

People’s Garden Teaches Gardening to Youth in Kentucky

A new People’s Garden was planted in west/central Kentucky this past Memorial Day weekend.  The garden is located on the greenhouse business property of Meredith Agriculture in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.  This new People’s Garden is a project of Meredith Agriculture and Central Hardin High School FFA.  The garden is managed by a CHHS graduate member, Alex Meredith, and his father Steve.  Several FFA members, parents, and siblings of FFA members gathered to plant a 4,500 square foot garden of tomatoes, sweet corn, potatoes, squash, lima beans, and watermelons.  The produce will be donated to several local agencies that help the needy. Read more »

Celebrity Chef Eric Ziebold Adds Flavor to the USDA Farmers Market Opening

The USDA is ready to kick off another season of its outdoor farmers market and it has a star-studded schedule planned for market visitors.  Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan will lead the June 4 opening ceremony of the USDA Farmers Market with the help of celebrity chef Eric Ziebold from the nearby CityZen and Sou’Wester restaurants in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Read more »

South Dakota USDA Marks Homeownership Month with the Oglala Sioux Tribe

Theresa Two Bulls, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) signed a proclamation declaring June 2010 National Homeownership Month.  The signing event took place in conjunction with the live interview the OST Housing Authority, Partnership for Housing and USDA Rural Development held with KILI Radio commentator Tom Casey on May 26th.  USDA Rural Development Area Director Tim Potts was on site discussing the many opportunities available to qualified applicants through our housing programs. Read more »

Listening to Rural Communities – A National Summit on Rural America

Cross-posted from the White House Blog

Tomorrow I will travel to Hillsboro, Missouri to host the Obama Administration’s National Summit of Rural America: A Dialogue for Renewing Promise. The event will feature a broad conversation with key policymakers and community leaders to explore the priorities and policies necessary to strengthen America’s rural communities. Read more »

USDA Community Facilities Funds Available to Help Indiana Communities Obtain Tornado Warning Sirens

Do you live in a rural community without a tornado warning siren?

“Right now we have money. We can help as many [communities] as come to us,” said Phil Lehmkuhler, Indiana’s rural development state director for the United States Department of Agriculture. Read more »