As Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture- Rural Development’s Business and Cooperative Programs, I travel throughout the country, promoting the President’s and Secretary’s vision of revitalizing rural America. Of the many talks that I have given this year, one of the most exciting and memorable moments for me occurred on Saturday, May 14, 2011, when I had the honor and privilege of giving two commencement speeches to graduating classes totaling 500 students at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) in Laredo, Texas.
As a native of south Texas, you can imagine how excited I was to have this opportunity to share my educational roots and professional experiences with these inspiring new graduates. Many of these students are the first in their families to graduate from college; therefore, the experience was not only a major accomplishment for the graduates but a monumental achievement for their families who were present at this event. So, as I shook the hands of each of the graduates as they came up on stage to receive their diplomas, I couldn’t help but think to myself how very proud I was of these students and their families. Read more »
USDA Business and Cooperative Programs Administrator Judith Canales convened a roundtable of renewable energy experts from the southeast in Nashville on January 26, to discuss development and marketing of bioenergy technologies and advanced biofuels. Read more »
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 »
By Anita Rios Moore, USDA Rural Development, Vermont
Molly Lambert, USDA Rural Development State Director for Vermont and key Vermont Business and Cooperative Program staff participated recently in the Vermont Small Business Lending Conference presented by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.
The conference purpose was to bring as many small business lending opportunities and business development resources such as, lender, Government procurement counselors and Small Business Development Centers, directly to small businesses interested in learning about the available business lending opportunities that will help them to invest in job creation and business growth.
USDA Rural Development staff along with representatives from 35 other traditional and non-traditional lenders, and resource organizations met face-to-face with small business owners. Business Programs Loan Specialist, Kevin Morehouse engaged with an assortment of business owners ranging from winery & vineyard, organic food and baked goods operations, to award & gift product line distributors. He and the business owners discussed next steps which might include a recommendation to meet with a financial advisor to review business plan and organize the business’ loan proposal.
“This conference brings the lenders and the resources to the business,” said State Director Lambert.“After one year of Recovery Act efforts, we are seeing people back to work, and economic growth, yet many small businesses still need the type of assistance and resources offered to them at conferences and workshops like this.”
Bankers and economic development officials from across New York attended USDA Rural Development’s Lender Roundtable in Syracuse on April 8. Sponsored by New York’s Rural Business Program, the event featured USDA Business and Cooperative Programs (B&I) Administrator Judith Canales. The Administrator emphasized the B&I Program’s desire to attract new lenders, while strengthening its existing lending relationships and creating jobs. Read more »