USDA Rural Development and NCTC break ground on a new high speed broadband project serving rural Tennessee and Kentucky.
Access to the world via internet and mobile phone services is at the fingertips of most Americans, but this is not the reality for residents of many rural communities across the Nation.
In October 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $190.5 million in grants and loans to make broadband and other advanced communications infrastructure improvements in rural areas. Read more »
The 1911-built Scenic Theater in Lisbon, N.D. With support from USDA, the theater, a focal point for the community, will continue to operate. USDA photo.
The Scenic Theater in Lisbon, North Dakota, like many small-town theaters, was struggling with the high cost to convert from a film to digital format. Film had been an industry standard for more than a hundred years, but Hollywood studios will stop printing on actual film by the end of the year.
Established in 1911, the Scenic is the oldest, continually operating theater in the United States. Due to the digital upgrade, theater owners, Al and Betty Michels, were worried that it would be forced to go dark for the first time. To make the transition, all new equipment would have to be purchased and installed, which would cost close to $100,000. With this daunting number, the community rallied to help preserve the historic theater. Read more »
North Dakota produce at a local farmers market. Photo Courtesy of Sue Balcom. Used with permission.
A growing consumer appetite for foods grown in their region was the focus of a recent Food and Agricultural Council (FAC) meeting in Valley City, North Dakota. FAC Chairman, Jasper Schneider, also state director of USDA Rural Development, invited healthy food activists to share the ups and downs of this growing movement. Read more »
Lidgerwood kindergarten students planting one of seven Hackberry trees donated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
After a long, blizzard-filled winter, Earth Day was celebrated April 29 in Lidgerwood, North Dakota. USDA Rural Development delivered the latest in a number of loans and grants to help offset the cost of a $1.58 million project to provide safe drinking water to the city. Lidgerwood’s leaders first learned of arsenic in their water supply twenty-three years ago. After a number of other methods failed to solve the problem, the city eventually joined a regional rural water district. Rural Development North Dakota State Director, Jasper Schneider said the USDA is proud to partner with the city and other funding sources to make safe and reliable water a reality for its 700 citizens. Read more »
USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider, and staff, recently toured seven rural communities in southwestern North Dakota as part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to rural communities. Schneider participated in conversations with community leaders to identify ways Rural Development programs can most effectively work to improve the quality of life and increase economic opportunity in the region. Read more »
Left to right: Greg Larson, SCRWD Board of Director; Jim Vander Vorst, State Line Water Cooperative; Kathleen Schneider, U.S. Senator Kent Conrad’s representative; Marion Houn, U.S. Senator Bryon Dorgan’s representative; Eric Volk, ND Rural Water Systems Association; Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development North Dakota State Director; Dave Koland, Executive Director of Garrison Diversion Conservancy District 11; Joe LaFave, SCRWD Board President; Congressman Earl Pomeroy; Doug Neibauer, Executive Director SCRWD; Harley Swenson, ND State Water Commission; Matt Burthold, USDA Rural Development Business Program Specialist; and Glenn McCrory, Emmons County Water Resource Board.
The day was hot and windy, but the mood on the banks of the Missouri River was electrifying as North Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider joined Congressman Earl Pomeroy, South Central Regional Water District board members, farmers, ranchers, and city folk recently to witness the long-awaited groundbreaking for a new water treatment facility. Read more »