Earlier this month, USDA Rural Development-Puerto Rico held an Intermediary Relending Program Roundtable meeting for area stakeholders.
Our staff provided a brief overview of the program followed by a very dynamic question and answer session. The most significant issues discussed were the current barriers to access capital for small businesses and the need to complement their services offerings through common inter-organizational effort.
The main objective of the meeting was to gather all main Intermediary Relending organizations and share their current best practices and current lending challenges. The meeting also proved to be an excellent opportunity to make services networking, exchange organizational information and identify new funding opportunities. Read more »
Nebraska Northwest Development Corporation (NNDC) is located in Chadron, Nebraska and serves the three northwest Nebraska counties of Dawes, Sheridan and Sioux. NNDC approached USDA Rural Development in need of additional revolving loan funds as the previous Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) was unable to keep up with the need for loan funds in this area of the state.
Building on previous discussions between Rural Development and NNDC, it was clear the amount of funds needed to significantly impact local entrepreneurs would best be served through an Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) loan. An IRP application request in the amount of $250,000 was submitted to USDA and, following a national competition, was selected for funding. Read more »
From June first through the eighth, USDA will host faculty and staff from the 32 land-grant tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) that work in the areas of agriculture, conservation, science, or community development to participate in the USDA Land-Grant Development/Tribal Fellowship Program, a key component of the Terra Preta do Indio Tribal Fellowship Suite. The USDA 1994 Tribal Land-Grant Colleges and Universities Program office works with land-grant TCUs to develop their land-grant capacities and rural tribal economies to ensure the US’ food security. In order to achieve this mission, the Department offers accepted applicants a Tribal Fellowship, a one-week intensive workshop which includes the cost of travel, lodging, and per diem.
Over the course of the workshop, Fellows learn about programs and resources available throughout USDA and where and how to access them. They have an opportunity to exchange ideas with their colleagues, ask questions of specialists, and to consider which of the resources discussed might benefit their institutions. Fellows apply their knowledge by developing or revisiting their strategic plan to address the needs of their 1994 tribal land-grant college in the areas of agriculture, conservation, and the development of their rural communities – in collaboration with their institutions tribal community and with support from our staff and USDA service centers. Read more »
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 »
WormFarm’s autumn D’Tour project in Sauk County, Wisconsin (Photo courtesy of WormFarm. Used with permission.)
As part of USDA’s effort to partner with foundations and increase investments in rural America, the Department has been working with the National Endowment for the Arts and Artplace to maximize grants that are being made in rural communities. ArtPlace is a non-profit organization which implements a funding pool from thirteen national and regional foundations and six national banks. In the past two years ArtPlace has invested nearly $30 million to support organizations aiming to improve their communities through creative place-making. Read more »
The thought of having to hand-carry a honey bucket, (a five gallon pail filled with human waste) out of your house and dump it to an outdoor common collection container in winter temperatures that drop to -55 °F, is an unpleasant scenario. For some residents in the community of Lower Kalskag, and other rural Alaskan communities, this is a reality. They have no indoor plumbing, and no indoor hot or cold running water.
The community of Lower Kalskag, Alaska, is remotely located 350 miles west of Anchorage in a persistent poverty area. This small, predominantly Alaska Native community has a population of around 280 and roughly fifty percent of its homes still lack adequate sanitation systems. The lack of sanitation services is a dire health and safety issue faced daily by a number of rural Alaska residents. Read more »