Earth Day was earlier this week and one village in Wisconsin has helped secure the future for themselves and their children through environmental upgrades. Nestled in a valley in western Wisconsin, the Village of Spring Valley has faced its share of challenges throughout its history. Prior to completion of an earthen dam in 1968, flooding was a chronic problem.
Two projects largely funded by USDA Rural Development have improved the quality of life and the environment in Spring Valley. The first, completed in June 2011, is the new wastewater treatment plant. Because the Rotating Biological Contactor system’s capacity had been significantly reduced in years prior, the need to upgrade the plant was inevitable. The Village received $3.5 million in funding through USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental program.
“The wastewater treatment plant is more compliant with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. We release back into the Eau Galle River after treatment, so it’s imperative that we meet the standards,” said Marsha Brunkhorst, Spring Valley Village President. Read more »
U.S. dairy producers are leading the way in productivity and innovation when it comes to sustainable practices. Earlier this afternoon, I joined Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy CEO Tom Gallagher to renew an historic agreement with the dairy industry to lower greenhouse gas emissions and to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects on U.S. dairy farms which help producers diversify revenues and reduce utility expenses on their operations. Today’s extension of the Memorandum of Understanding is an acknowledgement of the dairy industry’s legacy of stewardship and its ongoing commitment to improve our farms. Read more »
For example, one of the projects we’re announcing is in Texas. Buffalo Gap, a rural community outside of Abilene will construct a first-ever wastewater collection system. The community currently is all-septic. The funds will allow construction of sewer lines, manholes, lift station and cleanouts. The system will collect sewage and pump it to Abilene’s wastewater treatment plant. This is just one example of a small community doing big things to help its residents this Earth Day. Read more »
The Intermediary Relending Program is USDA Rural Development’s primary program for capitalizing revolving loan funds. Since President Obama took office, the program has created or saved an estimated 20,000 jobs nationwide. Read more »
“The Rural Business Enterprise Grant program (RBEG) is one of the most flexible economic development opportunities offered by USDA Rural Development.” Those words from New Mexico State Director Terry Brunner kicked off a webinar workshop recently to discuss the RBEG program and how to apply for funds.
In the past, here in New Mexico, the RBEG has been used to fund business incubators, feasibility studies, business plans, and it has financed technical assistance programs for business development.
Earlier this month, the staff from Rural Development’s State Office in New Mexico hosted a workshop that gave a complete overview of the RBEG program explaining the funding is made available to public bodies, nonprofit organizations, public and private nonprofit institutions of higher education, and Indian tribes to facilitate and finance the development of small and emerging private business enterprises in rural communities and cities up to 50,000 in population. Read more »
Rural Americans face many unique challenges – and every day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides assistance to help grow American agriculture and increase opportunity for rural communities. Unfortunately, 90 percent of America’s persistent poverty counties are in rural America–and we can’t allow these areas to be left behind. This week, USDA is further expanding a program to partner with rural communities and regions on projects they support to promote economic growth. Through this initiative, known as the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity, USDA helps communities leverage their resources to access programs, promote economic development and create more jobs. Read more »