South Dakota USDA Rural Development honored four top banks for their collaborative work in utilizing the USDA Business & Industry (B & I) Loan Guarantee program.
Elsie Meeks, South Dakota Rural Development State Director said, “Working with private lenders throughout the state enables USDA Rural Development to increase investment capital, and help communities and local organizations build a strong business infrastructure to nurture economic growth.” In Fiscal Year 2012, South Dakota USDA Rural Development B & I Guaranteed Loan program made available $33.2 million in the state, leveraging $128 million and assisting nine businesses. This economic support created or retained an estimated 109 jobs in the state.
Great Western Bank of Rapid City, First Interstate Bank of Sturgis, BankWest of Pierre and First Interstate Bank of Wall, South Dakota were recently highlighted as top lenders through the B & I program. Read more »
The Rapid City, South Dakota, service center includes staff from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Rural Development (RD) and Pennington County Conservation District. Three years ago, the Rural Development staff contacted the Cornerstone Rescue Mission and WAVI (Working Against Violence, Inc.) to provide information on various programs. At that time, the USDA staff decided to forgo the typical interoffice gift exchange and set up the first Angel tree. The first two years, the staff provided gifts to the families seeking assistance from WAVI.
Every year, the Rapid City Club for Boys finds sponsors to provide a Christmas for a family who would otherwise be unable to celebrate the holiday. This year, the group decided to sponsor a family of six. The second to the youngest, is a 7-year old boy who lives with four sisters and his mother, and is a member of the Club for Boys.
The children’s mom works at a minimum wage job and is a full-time student in college. The children range in age from 5 – 18, and the family budget is very limited making it difficult to make ends meet. Read more »
The USDA Rural Development, Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff in Rapid City, South Dakota, combined efforts to raise money for Relay for Life in memory of a former co-worker and friend, Rural Development Specialist Jim Jirsa. He was diagnosed with cancer in June 2010 and died on October 31, 2010. In memory of Jim, local staff donated food and served lunch at the USDA office earlier this month. The staff also participated in a variety of other fundraising events.
The staff raised approximately $4,200 for the event and the funds will go toward cancer research and cancer patient services. The USDA staff was awarded a silver medal for their efforts in fund raising. Read more »
Officials from USDA met with business leaders in Rapid City, South Dakota to seek their input on ways federal, state and local officials can help improve economic conditions and create jobs. The session was the second White House Business Council meeting held; the first was held in Missouri. The meeting was hosted by Kristi Wagner, Program Developer with South Dakota Rural Enterprise, Inc. and facilitated by Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator of USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service, and a member of the White House Business Council on Winning the Future.
Adelstein said, “We heard really a lot of good advice from business leaders that are skilled in creating jobs in South Dakota. They’re sometimes frustrated with the government, they’re sometimes very happy about ways the government has helped them to succeed. And we’re trying to learn from the good things, we’re trying to streamline and get the bureaucracy out of the way and make sure regulation doesn’t inhibit job growth.” Adelstein says White House officials will leave Washington and reach out to the business leaders in every state by the middle of June. Read more »
Feds Feed Families: (left to right), Traci Ross, Farm Service Agency Coordinator; Tammi Schone, Rural Development Coordinator; and Linda Weinzetl, Natural Resources Conservation Service Coordinator with some of the food collected for the backpack program.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) partnered with the Office of Personnel Management to participate in the Feds, Farmers, and Friends Feed Families (F5), a food drive. This food drive benefited local food banks identified by state and area/local USDA offices. Read more »