As rural communities begin to shake off the remnants of a record-breaking winter, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development – along with several sister agencies – held the first of several Alaska Tribal Collaboration meetings in Bethel on Friday, April 13.
In a state home to nearly half of our nation’s federally-recognized tribes, President Obama’s mandate for federal agencies to “engage in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration” with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes carries with it particular importance.
Fifteen tribal representatives and a handful of their non-profit partners from throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region, gathered at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center for a day-long session with representatives from Rural Development; Natural Resource Conservation Service; Farm Service Agency; Housing & Urban Development; Small Business Administration, and the Denali Commission. Read more »
Memories of a good home cooked meal…. Mom’s in the kitchen…Dad’s snatching tidbits when Mom’s back is turned….wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen. As the family joins together for dinner, the table is laden with scrumptious food, and Mom brings the crowning jewel to the table… a beautiful golden brown goose, roasted to perfection.
Are you wondering where you’d find a goose today to enjoy any time? Did you know that 85-90 percent of the geese on the American market come from Schiltz Foods in Sisseton, South Dakota – a family business that grew from 5 geese in 1944 to over 200,000 birds today. Brothers Richard and Jim Schiltz took over for their dad, Marlin, several years ago and oversee everything from production to marketing and beyond. Read more »
In his State of the Union Address, the President announced a plan for building a strong, successful and lasting economy. He spoke in particular about the need to source jobs domestically in order to bring employment back to the United States and the need for a strong manufacturing base to build our economy upon. Here at the USDA, we are doing our part by supporting rural businesses, building modern, reliable community infrastructure, and working with farmers and ranchers to export products grown in America.
Earlier this week, I participated in a webinar about domestic sourcing and opportunities for partnership between the federal and private sectors back home to America. As the representative for all federal programs, I highlighted many partnering opportunities across agencies like the Small Business Administration and Economic Development Administration, and described in depth the opportunities Rural Development provides to rural residents and businesses. In particular, I spoke about our rural business programs, like the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program and the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program which in the last year have assisted over 50,000 small and mid-size rural businesses across the country in creating or saving roughly 266,000 jobs. Read more »
Recently USDA Rural Development Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs Judith Canales joined Small Business Administration (SBA) officials in Syracuse, New York, to discuss opportunities to promote rural small business investment and job creation. The rural investment roundtable event was held at Dairylea Cooperative, Inc.
As part of the Startup America Initiative, SBA recently announced the creation of a $1 billion Impact Investment Fund through its Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program. The Impact Fund will invest in distressed areas as well as in emerging sectors such as clean energy. SBA provides up to a 2 to1 match to private capital raised by this fund, partnering with private investors to target “impact” investments. Read more »
I had the privilege recently of spending time with people who are committed to improving their neighborhoods and communities. On September 22nd, the White House hosted a symposium on promoting economic recovery and job creation through Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP). Faith and community leaders from across the nation joined together to learn what the Federal Government is doing to support economic development by working in partnership with faith based and community organizations.
The symposium began with remarks by Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of FBNP, and SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns. Participants received an overview of how government agencies are working with faith-based and community organizations to support economic development and create jobs. Read more »
Farm Service Agency (FSA) acting Administrator Bruce Nelson praised Director of Contracting Activity Designee Joyce Bowie recently for her career work that earned her the distinguished USDA Champion Award at the Small Business and AbilityOne Award ceremony held at USDA. A member of the FSA Acquisition Management Division, Bowie was honored for effectively educating her internal customers about small business contractors and promoting the use of their services.
Each year, USDA agencies nominate and award small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, HUBZone, service disabled veteran-owned and AbilityOne businesses for their exemplary contract performance. This year marked USDA 18th year in recognizing USDA employees and businesses. In addition to honoring small businesses, USDA employees were also acknowledged and awarded for their accomplishments in fostering the use of such businesses as federal contractors, which provide maximum opportunities for small businesses to participate in USDA contracting activities. Read more »