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Posts tagged: Economic Growth

Ohio Economic Development Conference Promotes Business Opportunity and Job Creation

(Left to right) Ohio Rural Development State Director Tony Logan, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Deb Martin, Great Lakes RCAP Director and Judith Canales, USDA Rural Development Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs at the Ohio RCAP conference.

(Left to right) Ohio Rural Development State Director Tony Logan, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Deb Martin, Great Lakes RCAP Director and Judith Canales, USDA Rural Development Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs at the Ohio RCAP conference.

The Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) held an intensive two-day economic development conference in Ohio on Aug. 24-25 targeting educational outreach to the state’s small, rural community leaders. With more than 300 participants from Ohio and neighboring states on hand, and an impressive line-up of speakers and workshops, the conference provided both motivation and insights on strategic planning for those in attendance. Read more »

Farmers Markets as Small Business Incubators

The USDA Farmers Market is located at the corner of 12th Street and Independence Avenue and will be open every Friday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. through November 16th.

Last Sunday, CBS News featured USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan and discussed how farmers markets are part of a fundamental shift in the way people access their food and interact with their community.  And, as the story notes, “… [f]armers markets and other forms of selling straight to customers are helping to keep farmers in business,” which is why those of us at the Agriculture Marketing Service were excited to report that there are now 6,100-plus farmers markets, recognizing that these markets provide jobs and economic growth opportunities for their producers. Read more »

USDA Rural Development and Recovery Act Funding Finance Industrial Park Improvements and Create Jobs in Southeast Kansas

Ribbon Cutting:  Left to right: Robert O’Kelly, Mayor of Parsons, Kansas; Deb Miller, Kansas Secretary of Transportation; Patty Clark, State Director, USDA Rural Development; Carolyn Kennett, Economic Development Director for City Parsons; Fred Gress, Parsons City Manager

Ribbon Cutting: Left to right: Robert O’Kelly, Mayor of Parsons, Kansas; Deb Miller, Kansas Secretary of Transportation; Patty Clark, State Director, USDA Rural Development; Carolyn Kennett, Economic Development Director for City Parsons; Fred Gress, Parsons City Manager

Earlier this week, USDA Rural Development staff  joined the Kansas Department of Transportation and the City of Parsons, to celebrate the official opening of Giefer Drive and Tolen Creek Industrial Park as well as the completion of the US 59 Recovery Act Highway Project. Read more »

Mapping Slaughter Availability in U.S.

A map of counties in the U.S. with no small cattle slaughter facility and 143 or more small cattle farms.

A map of counties in the U.S. with no small cattle slaughter facility and 143 or more small cattle farms.

Cross-Posted from the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Blog

Meat and poultry products are important commodities within many local and regional food systems.  The production of these products for local and regional markets is of course dependent on the availability of facilities that slaughter and process livestock and poultry.  Media stories have recently documented the difficulties many small farmers and ranchers often face when searching for facilities to slaughter their animals for local markets; lack of a nearby slaughter facility or lengthy wait times for services are frequently cited problems.  As a representative to the USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), I have been working, along with representatives from other USDA agencies, on identifying where slaughter service availability might be lacking and then determining the best ways to help. Read more »

Mapping Slaughter Availability in U.S.

This FSIS map shows the density of small livestock and poultry producers in relation to the locations of Federally- and State-inspected slaughter establishments. USDA uses the map to identify gaps in slaughter availability.

Meat and poultry products are important commodities within many local and regional food systems.  The production of these products for local and regional markets is of course dependent on the availability of facilities that slaughter and process livestock and poultry.  Media stories have recently documented the difficulties many small farmers and ranchers often face when searching for facilities to slaughter their animals for local markets; lack of a nearby slaughter facility or lengthy wait times for services are frequently cited problems. Read more »

Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom Residents Receive USDA Support to Increase Economic Development Opportunities, Spur Job Creation

Written by Anita Rios Moore, Vermont USDA Public Information Coordinator

USDA Rural Development State Director, Molly Lambert, joined by representatives from the Vermont Congressional delegation presented seven Northeast Kingdom organizations with Certificates of Partnership recently during a grant awards ceremony at the St. Johnsbury USDA office. The recipients received Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) to spur Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom businesses.

“Our mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for all rural Americans. These grants will help rural businesses with funding and technical assistance they need to expand and create jobs,” Lambert said. “We are pleased to partner with these organizations in order to spur economic development throughout the Northeast Kingdom.”

Three organizations, the Country Riders Snowmobile Club, Inc., Northeast Kingdom Travel & Tourism Association and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Inc. received grants to promote regional tourism throughout Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties.  Two other organizations, The Center for an Agricultural Economy and the University Of Vermont & State Agriculture College, will use their grants to provide technical assistance to dairy farmers and agricultural businesses in the area. Both organizations will provide business counseling, plan or product development to their specified clientele.

“Following the announcement, the grantees had time to network,” said Steven Campbell, Director for the St. Johnsbury USDA Rural Development Area Office. “They’ve continued conversations beyond the day’s event that clearly indicate they understand the connections they share.”

Newport City Renaissance Corporation will develop a Newport brand recognition and a marketing strategy. Northern Community Investment Corporation will complete a Growth Readiness Fund to assist selected innovative high-impact business partners with specialized services that point toward preparing and advancing their businesses for job creation.

These seven grants add to 20 previously awarded to Northeast Kingdom, Vermont recipients. Grantees have provided business assistance, including internet marketing, business account training, the creation of a centralized reservation system for Northeast Kingdom tourism businesses, energy efficiencies, revolving loan funds and technical assistance in several forms.

The Northeast Kingdom is a designated Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone.  The counties of Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans have special access to important USDA Rural Development programs.

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Northeast Kingdom grant recipients signed grant agreement documents for their Rural Business Enterprise Grant awards to spur economic development throughout Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties. From left to right: Patricia Sears – Newport Renaissance Corporation; Kate Williams – Northern Forest Canoe Trails; Ron Merrill Country Riders Snowmobile Club; Jon Freeman – Northern Community Investment Corporation; Gloria Bruce, Northeast Kingdom Travel & Tourism Association, and Monty Fisher, The Center for An Agricultural Economy. Steven Campbell from USDA Rural Development discusses document, while Molly Lambert, USDA Rural Development State Director (in back) looks on.