Through passion, hard work, and support from USDA Rural Development, Legend Air Suspensions has become a national and international success. Rural Development South Dakota State Director Elsie M. Meeks and Area Director Tim Potts visited the owner Jesse Jurrens recently to celebrate the accomplishments of his business, Independent Cycle Inc., dba Legend Air Suspensions.
USDA assisted the business through a Business and Industry Guaranteed loan in conjunction with First National Bank, Sturgis, South Dakota. Mr. Jurrens credits his refinance with the help of Rural Development, increased efficiencies, dedicated employees and internal cost saving measures that made the business not only stabilize but grow their net income this last year. Read more »
In a past visit to the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, USDA Rural Development State Director, Elsie, M. Meeks, viewed the boxes and boxes of toys to be delivered on Christmas Eve. Each year CRYP collects “Dear Santa” letters from over a 1,000 children on the Cheyenne River reservation, solicits funds and in-kind donations from organizations and individuals around the world, matches the Santa lists with just the right gifts and delivers the beautifully wrapped packages to eager children — and their grateful families. Read more »
USDA and local officials in front of a rendering of the newly designed learning facility.
The Miner County Development Corporation (MCDC) in Howard, South Dakota, broke ground recently on a new learning center complex with the assistance from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). Funding was provided through a USDA Rural Development Business & Industry Loan in the amount of $3.2 million guaranteed through Miner County Bank in Howard. Read more »
Written by Vicki Schurman, USDA Rural Development, Nebraska
Ten USDA agencies and Nebraska’s four federally recognized Indian Tribes gathered earlier this month at what is believed to be the first ever Tribal Listening Session in Nebraska. Seventy-two attendees participated in the Listening Session at the Life Long Learning Center at Northeast Community College in Norfolk that was spearheaded by the State Food and Agriculture Council.
All of Nebraska’s headquartered Indian Tribes had both Tribal Council Leaders and Tribal Business Management representatives at the session. Federally recognized Tribes in Nebraska are the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska, and the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.
The guest speaker was Rural Development’s South Dakota State Director Elsie Meeks who spoke of her own experiences as a Native American and on utilizing USDA programs. She emphasized the Obama Administration’s commitment to working with the Tribes. Each USDA agency hosted booths for Tribal members to visit to learn more about what is available to assist them. Breakout sessions included Land Use Management, Economic/Community Development, Health and Human Services and Housing. All sessions were presented by USDA specialists.
A Tribal opening prayer and the Noon Prayer and Spirit Plate, customs of the Tribes, were shared with all. Bison, a traditional food of the Tribes, was served at lunch.
Secretary Vilsack earlier today announced funding to assist Tribes in business development ventures. To learn more click here.
Session attendees included Tribal leaders and members and USDA staff.
Earth Day celebrations in both Rosebud and Porcupine, South Dakota, featured Jessica Zufolo, USDA Rural Development Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Programs. Zufolo was joined by the South Dakota Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks and Area Director Tim Potts, along with representatives from Indian Health Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The celebration featured the announcement of a water and environmental project totaling $6.8 million to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and water and environmental project totaling $881,000 to the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Read more »