From left: Farmers Steve Roth, Don Rief, Dale Rief, Clifford Dilts discuss topics covered during a town hall meeting with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the Glenwood Community High School in Glenwood, Iowa on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Farmers, local and regional media listened and questioned Secretary Vilsack on the cause of the floodwaters along the Missouri River affecting Iowa and Nebraska. Secretary Vilsack offered advice and assistance available through the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met face-to-face last week with about 40 farmers, ranchers and producers from Iowa and Nebraska impacted by flooding along the Missouri River. The Secretary promised the group he would stay until every question had been answered and every concerned voiced – and he did just that, engaging in a dialogue that lasted more than two hours. Read more »
Recently I attended a presentation and groundbreaking near Midland, Michigan, for a unique USDA Rural Development Community Facilities project: A residential treatment center for the Ten Sixteen Recovery Network.
This is an unusual type of project for our agency. Our community facility projects tend to involve a police car, fire truck or township hall. Several people at the event (including news reporters) remarked on this. I pointed out that while a project of this kind may be uncommon, there is nothing usual about it being considered. Fire trucks and police cars tend to dominate community facilities because these tend to be the applications we receive. Read more »
Energy savings was the theme for the Earth Day event held with Garfield County in Burwell, Nebraska in April. Rural residents gathered at the Garfield County Library with USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul and staff. Garfield County was presented with a plaque from Rural Development for securing the funding needed to acquire a more efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) unit for the Library that serves more than 1,900 rural residents.
USDA Rural Development provided funding that was leveraged with funds from Garfield County and the Friends of the Garfield County Library to replace the old heating and cooling units with a more efficient HVAC system consisting of three new 13 air conditioners and heat pumps with backup heaters. The improvements will help the overall budget of the Library through the energy savings. Read more »
If you’ve ever remodeled an existing home, you can appreciate this problem. Sometimes things just get complicated.
The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in Alaska needed to grow. The original 9,000 square foot building, constructed in 1997, no longer met the needs of the area, so an expansion was undertaken. That’s when the problems surfaced. A corner of the warehouse which houses USDA commodity food products had sunk, due to an old bury pit that had not been documented. That issue, plus the need for new food cooling equipment, heating system upgrades, and handicap-accessible washrooms, a waiting room, an arctic entry and more warehouse space caused the food bank to turn to USDA Rural Development for a Community Facilities Direct Loan. Read more »
With USDA funding support, Morningside Shelter in Brattleboro, Vermont, recently completed an expansion to provide more space for people with children, while improving energy efficiency. Support to residents includes job training, nutrition, health services, parenting and child care services and skills to move them into permanent housing.
It’s dark and damp November, Vermont’s least welcoming month. The brilliance of autumn is gone and the dazzle of snow is still around the corner. Brattleboro is no different than most other communities in Vermont, or just across the river in New Hampshire, where people are worried about jobs, paying for heat and groceries, or worse, finding a place to live. Just in time for winter, with help from USDA in Vermont, Morningside Shelter has completed an expansion project that will allow a 30 percent increase in residents. The homeless shelter’s Executive Director Paul Capcara noted, “We’ve been operating at full capacity year round for the last several years. We’ve been getting more calls than ever from people with children.” Read more »
When almost half a million dollars for a new library comes to Fayette, Mississippi, it brings the whole community to the event, as seen in this photo.
Jefferson County in Mississippi, a rural county with a population of almost 10,000, was the site of an event last week commemorating a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities grant and loan combination that will bring a modern, state-of-the-art library to that county. Read more »