Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Posts tagged: Community Facilities

Teaming Up to Support Rural Community Colleges

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack welcomes  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as he enters the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Education Stakeholders Organization meeting held at the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Nov. 6, 2009.

Secretary Duncan, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and their agencies are working together to support community colleges as they provide postsecondary education and career training in rural areas.

Cross posted from the Department of Education blog:

It’s no secret that community colleges are leading the way to achieving the President’s goal for the United States to once again have the highest college attainment rate in the world by 2020. Community colleges are hubs for career-training, re-training, adult education and for recent high school graduates seeking a pathway into the careers of their choice. Read more »

Going Green with Rural Development

Use of wind turbines for renewable energy production on Midwestern farms is on the rise. Photo courtesy of USDA Rural Development.

Use of wind turbines for renewable energy production on Midwestern farms is on the rise. Photo courtesy of USDA Rural Development.

As more Americans strive to be eco-friendly and environmentally conscious, the buzz surrounding renewable energy has exploded.  Millions across the country already do their part every day to recycle, reduce carbon emissions and make the earth a little bit greener, but how can you do more?  Rural Development has programs available to provide funding for renewable energy projects.  Here’s a glimpse of the investments made in renewable energy thanks to partnerships between our agency and the rural individuals and businesses dedicated to creating a cleaner world: Read more »

Agriculture Secretary Meets with Farmers, Tours Flood-Damaged Areas of Iowa and Nebraska

From left: Farmers Steve Roth, Done 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.

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 »

USDA and The Recovery Act Funds a Michigan Treatment Facility

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 »

A Nebraska Library Observes Earth Day with Energy Efficiency Improvements

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 »

An Alaska Food Bank Expands with Help from USDA Rural Development

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 »