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Posts tagged: Farm Service Agency

Former Auto Exec Trades Up

Gary and Karen Ricley on their Flying 7 Ranch, Platte County, Wyoming.

Some people have “heaven on earth.”

Have you ever wondered who or what they were talking about?  If you were in Wyoming, it might have been Gary and Karen Ricley and their ranch along Slater Flats.

When Gary was offered an early retirement from his executive job in the auto industry in 1998, he was just 52 years old, so the Denver resident and his wife looked for a new adventure.  They learned about a short section of land for sale in southern Platte County, an area known as Slater Flats.  Read more »

Ohioans See Giganteus Future

Miscanthus giganteus was a tall, bothersome grass a few years back, a good privacy plant, but to some, just a weed.  It could grow about anywhere, reaching heights of 12-15 feet, and do it perennially for 20 years or more.

Some say Miscanthus giganteus had a bad reputation, but it doesn’t bother Terry Lowe anymore.  He’s hoping to turn it into renewable energy while it grows on 31 acres of his 66-acre farm in Ashtabula County, Ohio. Read more »

Partnership with USDA Saves County $10,000 While Providing 8,700 Pounds of Food

Farm Service Agency, FSA, People’s Garden

Farm Service Agency, FSA, People’s Garden

A four-acre plot of land has saved one Kentucky county thousands of dollars while helping to feed hungry families. Read more »

Rural Champion Rebuilds A Five-Generation Family Farm with Help from a USDA Loan

Jacqueline and Glen Young, Young’s Greenhouse, Maine

Jacqueline and Glen Young, Young’s Greenhouse, Maine

Cross posted from the White House Rural Champions of Change website:

A five-generation family farm, Young’s Greenhouse was severely damaged in a tornado. Read more »

South Carolina Business Owners, Residents, Community Leaders Share Ideas on Creating Jobs at USDA Forum

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored a Presidential Roundtable Forum on job creation for South Carolina at Clemson Research and Education Center in Columbia today, bringing together about 60 community leaders to brainstorm solutions to high unemployment numbers and the impact on rural areas.

“This forum provides an opportunity to share ideas on creating jobs and economic opportunities,” said Vernita F. Dore, state director of USDA Rural Development in South Carolina.  “Government can help lay the groundwork for economic growth, but the best ideas for continued growth and job creation often come from local communities. We need the best ideas to share with the Obama Administration.

The roundtable included business owners, residents, state and local officials, union members, non-profit organizations, community leaders, economists, educators and others interested in job creation and economic stability.

“The primary purpose is to put South Carolinians back to work,” said Dore. “We all know that unemployment in our state is one of the highest in the nation, and this forum brings the opportunity to change that. It gives us the chance to remind rural America about the many programs that Rural Development has to address this economy’s problems.”

“Moreover,” Dore continued, “it gives Rural Development the opportunity to remind rural communities that Rural Development stands poised with direct and guaranteed loan and grant programs to finance and help to create jobs and stimulate the economy. We believe that this forum will truly generate ideas for job creation and economic expansion in our state.”

USDA Rural Development works to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural families and businesses. Rural Development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs as laid out by Congress. South Carolina has 108 employees in 11 offices.

These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $125 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency, also a sponsor for the program, works with farmers, producers and ranchers to improve their economic viability and prosperity. Some of the agency’s efforts include financial assistance with loans for operations, farm equipment, seed and fertilizer and ownership loans to purchase a farm. FSA also implements disaster and conservation programs, and works to procure various commodities to benefit low-income families through domestic food assistance programs. FSA has 36 offices and service centers in South Carolina. FSA personnel assisted farmers in commodity and program payments in FY 2009 of $145.7 million.

Pierce McNair from South Carolina Technical Systems stresses the importance of investing in education for economic development at the Job Forum in Columbia, South Carolina.

Pierce McNair from South Carolina Technical Systems stresses the importance of investing in education for economic development at the Job Forum in Columbia, South Carolina.

Janie Davis from South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs " Small Business does not live by itself."

Janie Davis from South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs " Small Business does not live by itself."

Submitted by Marlous Black and Mack Eubanks of USDA

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

Business and Community Leaders Join in USDA Jobs Forum in Boulder City, Nevada

Don’t cut education and don’t cut technology! That was one of the main messages coming out of a lively discussion at a Jobs Forum in Boulder City, Nevada on January 14. The forum was sponsored by the Nevada offices of USDA Rural Development and the Farm Service Agency.

The main speaker, Brian Palmer, told how his company, GE Energy, which had lots of places to choose from, picked Minden, Nevada because it has a good environment for business, an excellent technology base, and a strong employee base. He said the last thing state government should do is to cut back on education or technology, since those are the things that will attract businesses and jobs.

There were lots of folks at the Roundtable, including members of the City Council, business people, staff from Senator Harry Reid and Congresswoman Dina Titus’s office—even a few young people who were with adults to find out what might help bring in and keep jobs in Boulder City. The speakers represented big and small businesses and the bottom line was that there are things that we can do to help make the community one that has jobs available for those who want them. It was a great opportunity for a cross section of folks to get together to try to solve one of our biggest problems.

Brian Palmer, Nevada Job Forum
Brian Palmer, keynote speaker at the Boulder City, Nevada Jobs Roundtable, is taped for BCTV broadcast during the first Nevada Jobs Roundtable. Behind him is USDA Rural Development/Nevada State Director Sarah Adler and Duncan McCoy, Mayor Pro Tem of Boulder City.

Submitted by Diana Jennings, Arizona Special Projects Coordinator on behalf of the Nevada Rural Development and Farm Service Agency staff.

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth