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Outreach with the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network

Throughout Minnesota, women are increasingly responsible for the stewardship of private forestlands, as the number of women owning and managing land across the country increases. To address this trend, the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network (WWN) was formed in 2010. WWN provides resources to women to help them effectively care for and enhance their private forestland.

Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network members visited Camp Vermillion on May 16 for a “Walk in the Woods.”

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Former Auto Exec Trades Up

Gary and Karen Ricley on their Flying 7 Ranch, Platte County, Wyoming.

Some people have “heaven on earth.”

Have you ever wondered who or what they were talking about?  If you were in Wyoming, it might have been Gary and Karen Ricley and their ranch along Slater Flats.

When Gary was offered an early retirement from his executive job in the auto industry in 1998, he was just 52 years old, so the Denver resident and his wife looked for a new adventure.  They learned about a short section of land for sale in southern Platte County, an area known as Slater Flats.  Read more »

Vian, Oklahoma Helps Enhance School Facilities While Inspiring Fitness Through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program

A grader works on preparing Vian, Oklahoma’s new track, funded in part through USDA’s Community Facilities Program.

As construction gets underway, Vian, Oklahoma residents eagerly await the completion of their new regulation size track and fitness facility. 

This small rural community located in eastern Sequoyah County hopes to encourage fitness and healthy living with the new facility, funded in part by USDA Rural Development in partnership with other agencies. Read more »

An 87 Year-Old Missouri Resident Enjoys her First Home-Thanks to USDA Support

State Director Dunning (4th from right), Ms. Fincher and her family in her new home.

Last year for Homeownership Month we visited Rita Fincher to whom we had made a Single Family Housing Direct loan to help purchase a home.  I was so impressed with her story last year that I decided I wanted to go back and visit her to see “what difference a year had made in her life with her new home.”  Here is her story. Read more »

Congressman Braley and Deputy Under Secretary O’Brien Host Farm, Food and Jobs Bill Listening Session in Northeast Iowa

Earlier this week Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien and Congressman Bruce Braley met with nearly 30 northeast Iowa producers and residents to discuss the important role rural economic development provisions have in the upcoming discussions of the next farm, food and jobs bill.

Iowa producers and residents discuss the impact the next farm, food and jobs bill can have on rural economies with Congressman Braley (in yellow shirt at head of table) and Deputy Under Secretary O’Brien (next to flag).

Iowa producers and residents discuss the impact the next farm, food and jobs bill can have on rural economies with Congressman Braley (in yellow shirt at head of table) and Deputy Under Secretary O’Brien (next to flag).

O’Brien said a goal with the next farm bill is to make it easier for people to access USDA support, ensuring that emerging rural businesses have the capital they need to grow and create jobs, and investing in communities pursuing regional growth. Read more »

East River Electric Cooperative Highlights USDA Rural Development funded Business

It was lights, camera and action as a videographer for the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) traveled across eastern South Dakota.  Hosted by the Rural Electric Economic Development, Inc. (REED) Fund, video interviews documented the businesses and partners that make REED’s revolving loan fund such a success.

A stop on the tour included Dakota Style, a home grown business located by Clark, SD.  Dakota Style started making their own potato chips 25 years ago and has expanded into sunflower seeds and salad toppers.  When progress led to a large national contract, they needed space for packaging equipment and storage for shipment. Read more »