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Posts tagged: North Dakota

Agriculture and Rural Main Streets on the Agenda for Smart Growth

Agriculture and food system development were featured agenda topics at the recent New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, an annual conference sponsored by the Local Government Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Transportation, the Centers for Disease Control and several other public and private organizations.

I went to the Smart Growth conference on behalf of USDA Rural Development to demonstrate USDA’s commitment to investing in the future of rural communities.  Smart Growth principles can offer innovative strategies for using scarce federal dollars efficiently to promote sustainable and sound investments on main streets everywhere, and are valuable in helping rural communities consider how to creatively use existing resources and infrastructure to serve and celebrate their unique identities. Read more »

USDA Helps a Farm Equipment Dealership Expand, Create Jobs in North Dakota

After 40 years, the John Deere dealership in Ashley, North Dakota has moved, but not far. About a mile down the road, over 250 people recently gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Green Iron Equipment’s new $2 million facility. USDA Rural Development helped finance the project by partnering with a local cooperative, KEM Electric. Through the Rural Economic Development Loan Program, Green Iron Equipment received a $740,000 loan.

The original dealership consisted of four separate buildings in downtown Ashley. Two of those structures housed small service shops that could not accommodate large farm machinery. Read more »

USDA Expands Its Housing Refinance Program to 15 More States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to Help Rural Homeowners Lower Mortgage Rates

Rural Development is the lead Federal agency that works to ensure that rural families have access to safe, well-built, affordable homes.  In February 2012, the agency initiated a two-year, pilot refinancing program in 19 states hardest hit by the Nation’s housing downturn to help eligible USDA borrowers reduce their monthly housing costs.

Today, USDA announced that the program is expanding to include eligible rural residents in Puerto Rico, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Read more »

The Smart Grid and Smart Growth

Smart grid technology, coupled with renewable energy production is increasing energy efficiency on America’s electric grid.”

Smart grid technology, coupled with renewable energy production is increasing energy efficiency on America’s electric grid.”

Two new smart grid projects in North Dakota and South Dakota will help improve electric service for consumers at Northern Electric Cooperative and West Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. by implementing advancements in communications technology.  A smarter electric grid can help improve service by increasing reliability and better managing costs. Read more »

US Forest Service Lands in North Dakota Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The beautiful Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands in North Dakota is now in the National Register of Historic places.

The beautiful Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands in North Dakota is now in the National Register of Historic places.

Two crown jewels in the heart of North Dakota have recently been announced as historic places tied to President Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation legacy.

The Elkhorn Ranch and Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands are now on the National Register of Historic places as a national historic district. President Roosevelt made the Elkhorn Ranch his home and explored, hunted and wrote about the Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands. Read more »

North Dakota Food and Agriculture Council Focuses on Local Food Collaboration

North Dakota produce at a local farmers market.  Photo Courtesy of Sue Balcom. Used with permission.

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 »