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In Illinois, Pulling from the Past to Push the Future

Costumed guides, along with Larry the mule, were part of the tour of the Canal Corridor Association’s mule-pulled canal boat.  Tour participants from right to left are Centrue Bank Vice President Doug Patterson; Samantha Warren, regional director for Rep. Debbie Halvorson; Canal Corridor Association President Ana Koval; Business and Cooperative Programs Administrator Judith Canales, and Illinois State Director Colleen Callahan.

Costumed guides, along with Larry the mule, were part of the tour of the Canal Corridor Association’s mule-pulled canal boat. Tour participants from right to left are Centrue Bank Vice President Doug Patterson; Samantha Warren, regional director for Rep. Debbie Halvorson; Canal Corridor Association President Ana Koval; Business and Cooperative Programs Administrator Judith Canales, and Illinois State Director Colleen Callahan.

The Canal Corridor Association, headquartered in LaSalle, Ill., has recaptured the past to build for the future, and a USDA Rural Development Business & Industry loan guarantee is helping them do it. Read more »

The Heart and Soul of USDA Rural Development’s Business – Cooperative Programs is the Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program

Congressman Leonard Boswell; Judy Canales, USDA Rural Business Programs Administrator; and Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa (Next to Canales on Right), listen to Pat Weiler (left) as he talks about upcoming changes at Weiler's manufacturing facility.

Congressman Leonard Boswell; Judy Canales, USDA Rural Business Programs Administrator; and Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa (Next to Canales on Right), listen to Pat Weiler (left) as he talks about upcoming changes at Weiler's manufacturing facility.

During the past year, nearly $3 billion in guaranteed loans were issued through The USDA Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program to lenders across the country as they worked with local businesses to help create jobs in rural America.

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USDA Rural Development Administrator talks Energy in Ohio

As America dedicates more resources to researching, developing and deploying new energy production technologies to help reduce its dependence on petroleum imported from abroad, positive discussions are occurring among energy industry leaders about the environmental and economic impact adopting these emerging technologies might have nationally. Read more »

USDA Grant Helps Vermont Dairy Turn Manure into Power

This biodigester, recently installed at a Vermont dairy farm, will generate 1.6 million kilowatts annually of clean renewable energy. USDA has programs to help finance biodigesters across the nation.

This biodigester, recently installed at a Vermont dairy farm, will generate 1.6 million kilowatts annually of clean renewable energy. USDA has programs to help finance biodigesters across the nation.

I went to an exciting open house earlier this month at the Chaput Family Farms in North Troy, Vermont showcasing how dairy farmers can convert manure into operating capital. The event featured the newly installed (August 2010) anaerobic digester, manufactured by a California firm.  Approximately 150 people from the dairy industry, power companies, and the businesses that manufactured and installed the digester system joined Judith Canales the Administrator of Business and Cooperative Programs for USDA Rural Development and other government officials on a blustery, wet day to learn how the digester works and how it can invigorate cash flow for dairy operations. Read more »

USDA Funding to Improve Water Quality for Residents Along the Arizona-New Mexico Border

St. Johns is a small community in Apache County, Arizona, close to the New Mexico border. Originally called El Vadito—little river crossing—St. Johns has found water to be an issue for their growth and development lately. Read more »

Rural Development & Foreign Agricultural Service Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

On October 5, it was my great privilege to kick off Rural Development (RD) and the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) joint celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month at USDA’s Jefferson Auditorium.  The theme for this month’s celebration is “Heritage, Diversity, Integrity and Honor: The Renewed Hope of America.” Read more »