Students of the Cody-Kilgore schools and area residents are working to complete a straw-bale building, an environmentally-friendly design that uses straw as insulation. Start-up funding was provided through USDA Rural Development and matched with cash, material and sweat equity contributions. Photos courtesy of the Village of Cody.
In Nebraska, keeping small rural communities alive and vital is a hard road. Part of the puzzle is keeping the rural youth local and involved. Who would think straw built construction could create the buy in needed to interest the youth?
The Village of Cody, home to 150 residents, is mostly farmers and ranchers. Residents know that entrepreneurship is important in creating more businesses and gain jobs but how do you inspire the youth towards this concept? Read more »
Cottage Grove residents stand under an arch welcoming visitors to the newly restored downtown area.
Like so many small towns these past few decades, downtown Cottage Grove, Oregon has seen its vitality as the community’s economic and social center fade as retail, building occupancy and overall traffic on Main Street have declined. The historic city center was laid out and constructed as the community’s small, but bustling hub near the turn of the last century. Over the years, changes in lifestyle, business models, traffic patterns, and overall growth diverted activity away. In addition, the small town of under 10,000 is conveniently located on an interstate just 20 miles from a major population center. As such, Cottage Gove today is home to many who prefer a quiet, small-town residential environment, but who work, shop and do business in the nearby Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area. Read more »
Pictured standing left to right: Sonya Lawrence – homeowner; Rural Development Area Specialist Roxanne Woodring; Rural Development Area Director Bruce Jones; Lincoln and Devola Bird and family - homeowners; JC Crawford - Native Homes (Contractor); Dustin LaFromboise and family – homeowners; Jasmin Zetina and family – homeowners; Homes Are Possible, Inc. Executive Director Jeff Mitchell; kneeling left to right: family of homeowner Sonya Lawrence (2 children kneeling at left); Angie Johnson - SWO Homeowner Program; Christina Eberhart - homeowner; Rural Development Area Specialist Janell Telin; and Robert LaCroix and family – homeowners….five of the families will have homes in the subdivision of Long Hollow on the SWO reservation and one family will have a home in Watertown.
I was honored to attend the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Annual Homebuyers Fair on June 20, 2012 in Sisseton, South Dakota. Although the previous evening and early morning rain saturated the ground, it didn’t stop the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate from having a successful event. June is homeownership month, and USDA Rural Development was on-site at the fair to remind rural residents of the opportunities to purchase, repair and refinance homes in rural areas. Read more »
A houseboat manufacturer in Kentucky builds a prototype energy-efficient single family home with support from the University of Kentucky, USDA Rural Development and other partners.
A ribbon cutting was held last month, for the first prototype from the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER) initiative in an established residential area near downtown Monticello, Kentucky. The HBEER initiative has created green jobs and is bringing back 575 skilled workers and 1,000 related jobs that were lost in the houseboat manufacturing and marine industries due to the economy. Read more »
The ribbon cutting photo includes from left to right: Donna McClure, Sen. McConnell’s office, Mark Johnson, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Earl Gohl, Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Congressman Hal Rogers, Tom Fern, Kentucky State Director, Bill Singleton, Kentucky Highlands Chairman, and Jerry Rickett, Kentucky Highlands President.
Job creation in rural America begins with local leaders, a vision for improving the local economy and then bringing together financing partners to make the vision a reality. I had the honor of joining Congressman Hal Rogers and representatives from Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul’s offices today to celebrate such job creating efforts in Laurel County, KY. As we walked through this 9,600 square foot business accelerator, you can understand why it is referred to as the BIG Center. Read more »
A volunteer crew helps construct a home in rural Oregon through the USDA Self Help Program.
This month, one of our long-time and valued partners, Umpqua Community Development Corporation (CDC)—soon to be known as Neighborworks Umpqua—in Southwest Oregon, celebrates its 20th anniversary. It is fitting for this special event to occur during National Homeownership Month, since Umpqua CDC has partnered with USDA Rural Development on numerous affordable housing efforts, as well as economic development projects. This work has had a direct and profound impact on the livability, sustainability and economy of communities here in Southwest Oregon. Read more »