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Posts tagged: Cheryl Cook

Partnership with USDA and Leaders in Animal Health Science will Address the National Shortage of Large-Animal Veterinarians and Technicians

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon joined Cheryl Cook, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development in St. Joseph, Missouri late last month to announce an agreement that is the first step to addressing a nationwide demand for more large-animal veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Read more »

New Jersey USDA Recovery Act Water Improvements Spur Economic Growth

After struggling for several years with a stagnant economy, the future is looking brighter for Paulsboro, New Jersey.  Earlier this week, USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook, Assistant Administrator for the Water and Environmental Program Jacki Ponti, and I attended an event to celebrate a Recovery Act-funded water project that will help to stimulate job creation while also upgrading Paulsboro’s water system. Read more »

Carroll County, Virginia Observes “USDA Rural Development Day”

USDA officials and residents of Carroll County gather in front of emergency equipment and transportation equipment purchased with USDA support.

USDA officials and residents of Carroll County gather in front of emergency equipment and transportation equipment purchased with USDA support.

Under bright, sunny skies last Friday, hundreds of residents of Carroll County, Virginia turned out to acknowledge the support provided by USDA Rural Development. Working in conjunction with State and local governments, non-profit entities and the business community, USDA has infused well over $80 million into the area in recent years, and half of that was to improve water quality. Carroll County is located in the Southwest portion of the state, and the county seat, Hillsville, is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Read more »

USDA Breaks Ground on People’s Garden in Delaware

Brad Fisher, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

On May 20, 2010, the USDA State Office in Dover, Delaware broke ground on its People’s Garden, answering Secretary Vilsack’s call to plant such gardens at Department offices around the globe. The Secretary established the People’s Garden project in February 2009 to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday.  (See the groundbreaking on YouTube.)  Since then, more than 300 People’s Garden have blossomed across the country.

The office has 80 Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development and Information Technology Services employees. The employees will volunteer their time to help care for and harvest the garden. The garden’s bounty will help needy families in the area and provide a hands-on learning experience for second graders at North Dover Elementary School.

And not only does the Delaware garden grow food, it grows partnerships, as well. At the ceremony, NRCS Chief Dave White pointed to the cooperative efforts by federal and state agencies, schools, and private conservation groups to make the garden a reality.

Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook told the crowd that this and other People’s Garden’s are important to making people aware of where their food comes from and encouraging smart eating.

Michael Scuse, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, affirmed that People’s Gardens educate the public about the work that farmers do every day to provide food, fiber, and fuel. 

NRCS Delaware State Conservationist Russell Morgan said that he sees People’s Gardens as ways to teach lessons in taking better care of natural resources.

One phase of the People’s Garden at the USDA office in Dover is the expansion of a rain garden. Storm water runoff and flooding are top concerns in the Delaware Estuary because of the damage that can occur when large volumes of rainwater occur.

Learn more about the People’s Garden movement at www.usda.gov/peoplesgarden.

NRCS employees dig out paths and install borders and landscape fabric.

NRCS employees dig out paths and install borders and landscape fabric.

The garden is in the final construction stages. Only a few more steps to complete before the ground is ready for spring planting.

The garden is in the final construction stages. Only a few more steps to complete before the ground is ready for spring planting.

USDA Officials Break Ground for a ‘People’s Garden’ in Dover, Delaware

Submitted by Kathy Beisner, Delaware USDA Rural Development Public Information Coordinator

Under bright, sunny Delaware skies, USDA Officials including Dave White, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook,  and Michael Scuse, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services joined in a groundbreaking ceremony for America’s latest ‘People’s Garden.’ 

The new garden, in Dover, is located near the USDA State Office and is modeled after similar gardens established around the nation, including one on the grounds of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Jamie L. Whitten Building in Washington, D.C.  

In addition to federal officials, representatives of the State, Cooperative Extension, the Ruth N. Dorsey Relief Shelter, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and North Dover Elementary School participated in the event this morning.  Among those assisting in planting the garden was teacher Susan Plucenik’s Second Grade Class from North Dover Elementary School.  The garden is the 300th planted across the Nation so far.  To learn more about the People’s Garden click here.

USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook assists Celebrity Harmon.  Dylan Caldwell gets assistance from USDA Rural Development State Director Jack Tarburton.

USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook assists Celebrity Harmon.  Dylan Caldwell gets assistance from USDA Rural Development State Director Jack Tarburton.

At the New Dover, Delaware People's Garden: (Left to Right)  Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Cheryl L. Cook; Chief Dave White, Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse.

At the New Dover, Delaware People’s Garden: (Left to Right)  Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Cheryl L. Cook; Chief Dave White, Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse.

USDA Recovery Act Funds Help a Key Supplier to America’s Natural Gas Industry

Written by Vicki Schurman, USDA Public Information Officer

Much of the natural gas consumed in the United States comes from North America.  But when you think of natural gas, you don’t usually think of sand.  Preferred Sands of Nebraska provides the North American natural gas industry with high quality specialty (frac) sand. It’s used by industry customers in every production basin in the United States and Canada. The sand is injected into a well as part of a process to increase gas flow.  The special sand produced in Nebraska holds open fractures in gas-bearing deposits during production.

Recently, USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl L. Cook toured the Preferred Sands facility in Genoa, Neb.

USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan provided American Recovery and Reinvestment Act support that will help the company preserve 50 jobs at Preferred Sands. An additional 50 new jobs for local residents are expected to be created in the next two years.

“USDA Rural Development is in the business of helping businesses like Preferred Sands of Genoa LLC support job creation, and strengthen the local economy,” Cook said. “The guaranteed loan the company is receiving will provide a much needed boost to the local economy by helping to preserve existing jobs and creating even more employment opportunities in the future as the company grows.”

The company provides good jobs for the area. Wages average over $34,000 annually.

Preferred Sands received a $22 million loan from Siemens Financial Services, Inc., backed by an USDA Rural Development guarantee.  Leveraged with the loan are $10.1 million from Preferred Sands and $7 million from a GE equipment loan.  The funds were used to refinance real estate and equipment at the facility.

USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook (fourth from left), Nebraska RD staff, Congressional staff, State Senator Annette Dubas, Lenders, and Borrowers Celebrate the Sustainability of a Rural Business, Preferred Sands of Genoa LLC.
USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook (fourth from left), Nebraska RD staff, Congressional staff, State Senator Annette Dubas, Lenders, and Borrowers Celebrate the Sustainability of a Rural Business, Preferred Sands of Genoa LLC.