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Posts tagged: Kansas

Construction Begins on a Rural Kansas Fire Station with Financing from USDA and an Electric Cooperative

The City of Quinter, Kansas, had a groundbreaking ceremony for a new fire station earlier this month.  All of the city’s fire equipment will soon be under one roof, which will help improve the fire station’s efficiencies when crews respond to emergencies in its 400 square mile service area.  The new station is being built with funding support from USDA and a local electric cooperative.

Earlier this month, the City of Quinter, Kansas, celebrated the groundbreaking of a new fire station with city employees, members of the volunteer fire department, USDA Rural Development staff, and representatives from Midwest Energy and Quinter Manufacturing & Construction (QMC). This photo was taken by a USDA employee.

Earlier this month, the City of Quinter, Kansas, celebrated the groundbreaking of a new fire station with city employees, members of the volunteer fire department, USDA Rural Development staff, and representatives from Midwest Energy and Quinter Manufacturing & Construction (QMC). This photo was taken by a USDA employee.

According to City of Quinter Administrator, Ericka Gillespie, the city of less than 1,000 needed a new fire station because the old facility was not meeting the needs of the community.  A larger space was needed for training, storage, and additional fire protection equipment and trucks.  The larger fire station will also improve the department’s fire rating, resulting in lower insurance costs. Read more »

Celebrating USDA’s 150 Years in Kansas

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium at Kansas State University, in Manhattan, KS, on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. USDA Photo by Jessica Bowser.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium at Kansas State University, in Manhattan, KS, on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. USDA Photo by Jessica Bowser.

Yesterday, I celebrated USDA’s 150th Anniversary with the people of Manhattan, Kansas. For 150 years, USDA has supported the tremendous growth and success of American agriculture, conserved natural resources and built stronger communities and a stronger America.  That legacy gives us a lot to be proud of. Read more »

Football Turf a Source of Protein?

The brand of soy-based turf blanketing the Kansas State Wildcats outdoor stadium qualifies for the USDA Biopreferred program, and is an environmentally-friendly alternative to petroleum-based products. Photo courtesy Kansas State Athletics.

The brand of soy-based turf blanketing the Kansas State Wildcats outdoor stadium qualifies for the USDA Biopreferred program, and is an environmentally-friendly alternative to petroleum-based products. Photo courtesy Kansas State Athletics.

When a Kansas State University football player plants his opponent’s face into the turf, the result may be a better-tasting blend of artificial grass. Turf is not a part of the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations, but defensive ends playing in the Wildcats’ stadium can skip their pre-game soy latte and get their fill during the game instead. Read more »

City of Liberal, Kansas and USDA Rural Development Help Families Build Homes

Six families gathered in Liberal, Kan., to celebrate the completion of their newly constructed homes.  The families utilized USDA Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing Program administered by the City of Liberal to help construct the homes.  The family members devote time and labor to painting, roofing, siding and other types of tasks and lower the cost of construction, while developing equity in their new home.

In 2006, the City of Liberal was awarded a technical assistance grant from USDA Rural Development to begin the Self-Help Housing Program.  Through the program, 30 homes have been built in Liberal.  USDA Rural Development’s direct home loans have financed $3.9 million in construction for Liberal’s self-help homes. Read more »

Gardening in Housing Units Yields More than Produce

Kirkendall Heights, located in Ellsworth, Kan., developed new whiskey barrel gardens.  Residents Betty Jo and Eric are proud to show off their new gardens.

Kirkendall Heights, located in Ellsworth, Kan., developed new whiskey barrel gardens. Residents Betty Jo and Eric are proud to show off their new gardens.

Kansas gardening projects and the USDA People’s Garden initiative were featured items during the Rural Rental Housing Association of Kansas (RRHAK) Annual Meeting.  Aimee Omohundro from USDA Rural Development, David Coltrain from Kansas State University Research and Extension, Shari Wilson from the Kansas Association of Conservation and Environmental Education, and Terri Bradshaw from Homestead Affordable Housing discussed how to start a garden, rewards of gardening and how to get the community involved. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Team Steps Forward to Assist a Tornado-Damaged Kansas Community

The Reading Grain & Lumber Company facility, an important source of local employment, was heavily damaged by the tornado.

The Reading Grain & Lumber Company facility, an important source of local employment, was heavily damaged by the tornado.

Weather-related disasters have plagued the United States this spring and the rebuilding efforts appear daunting.  The same weekend that Joplin, Missouri, was devastated by an EF5 tornado, Reading, Kansas, a rural town with a population of 250 was struck by an EF3 tornado.  The scale of the damage in Reading is not comparable to Joplin in terms of dollars, numbers of homes and businesses damaged, or in lives lost.  But the damage in the eyes of each individual and family is equal when you talk to displaced residents of either community. Read more »