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USDA, Co-ops Play Role in Helping Rural Residents Cut Electricity Costs

Earlier this month, Vice President Joe Biden announced a “Recovery Through Retrofit” initiative aimed at boosting energy efficiency in homes across the country. As part of the effort, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has developed Home Energy Score software that will standardize home energy audits, providing homeowners with a score, a list of possible upgrades, and a breakdown of the costs and benefits of recommended upgrades. Read more »

Recovery Act Funding Provides New Emergency Services Facility for a Flood-Damaged Iowa Community

Groundbreaking - A new emergency services building in Elkader, Iowa will improve public safety for thousands of residents in northeast Iowa.

Groundbreaking - A new emergency services building in Elkader, Iowa will improve public safety for thousands of residents in northeast Iowa.

Local fire departments and emergency service personnel play a critical role in ensuring community safety.  Every community, no matter how small, should have access to top-quality emergency services. Read more »

Progress Report on the Town of Newburg, West Virginia’s USDA Recovery Act Water System Construction Project

This is the latest in a series of blogs from West Virginia Student Reporter Abbey Hart on behalf of Bobby Lewis, State Director

On November 16, 2010, a Construction Progress Meeting was held at the Newburg Town Hall. Although progress has been slower this past month, 76 percent of the project is finished. With the exception of 3200 feet of waterline, all of Route 26 is complete. Also, approximately 50 percent of the new waterline has been pressure tested. Read more »

Share Our Strength Kicks Off No Kid Hungry in New Orleans

Students from Success Preparatory Academy lead the pledge of allegiance at the kick-off of the No Kid Hungry campaign in New Orleans on November 12.

Students from Success Preparatory Academy lead the pledge of allegiance at the kick-off of the No Kid Hungry campaign in New Orleans on November 12.

I had the honor of participating in the kick-off of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 12.  I say it was an honor because of the importance of the project and the dedication and sincerity of the partners who have come together to make it happen. Read more »

USDA TARGET Center Launches Profiles in Technology Video Series on USDA YouTube Channel

In today’s workplace, technology has such an immense impact that most of us take it for granted. Yet there was once a day when you sat at your desk and wrote letters by hand, waited for the mail to be delivered and connected calls through an employee-operated switch board in your office.  If you were lucky, at least you could use a typewriter. Read more »

Construction Begins on South Dakota Wind Project

Today, November 18, 210, Basin Electric Power Cooperative based in Bismarck, ND, will receive a USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities loan guarantee for $153,396,000 for two wind projects in Mina, ND.  Together these projects will provide 120 MW of renewable electricity.  Combined with Basin’s previous wind investments, they are expected to represent over 600 MW of wind generation – enough to power the average annual needs of 175,000 homes. Read more »