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Posts tagged: Tom Fern

The Promise of a Brighter Future

L to R: Vernon Brown, USDA Community Program Director in Kentucky; RHS Administrator Hernandez; and Thomas Fern, USDA Rural Development State Director for Kentucky.

L to R: Vernon Brown, USDA Community Program Director in Kentucky; RHS Administrator Hernandez; and Thomas Fern, USDA Rural Development State Director for Kentucky.

Recently, I visited southeastern Kentucky, where I joined Rural Development State Director Tom Fern on a whirlwind tour to parts of an eight-county region designated by President Obama as a rural Promise Zone and by Secretary Vilsack as part of USDA’s StrikeForce initiative covering 73 Kentucky counties.

During my first stop, I joined Congressman Hal Rogers as he announced a $23 million loan (funded by USDA’s Community Facilities program) to purchase the property and facilities of the Knox County Hospital in Barbourville.  That loan was the first one to come across my desk last December shortly after I joined USDA. Meeting with some of the 200-plus dedicated employees of that hospital affirmed my belief that granting that loan was the right decision, as the funding will enable those healthcare workers to continue to serve the families of the region. Read more »

Saluting our Veterans and their Service to America

Kentucky State Director for Rural Development, Thomas Fern, (grey suit) presents keys for new van to the Magoffin County Judge Executive and the Magoffin County Disabled American Veterans organization. USDA photo.

Kentucky State Director for Rural Development, Thomas Fern, (grey suit) presents keys for new van to the Magoffin County Judge Executive and the Magoffin County Disabled American Veterans organization. USDA photo.

Parade formations, 21-gun salutes, solemn flag presentations are all an important part of the duties carried out by our nation’s veterans and their organizations as they help us remember the fallen and show support for our current members of America’s military forces. Each have engrained in their memory the wars or battles fought to keep our nation free and to ensure we live under a true and open democracy.

Recently, I presented members of the Disabled American Veterans in Magoffin County, Ky., a set of keys to a new transport van.  Equipped with handicap accessible ramps, this van will ease the challenge of getting veterans to community events in their area.  The van also will serve as a means of transportation for area veterans needing assistance with visits to doctor appointments and medical facilities.  USDA Rural Development provided Magoffin County a grant for the purchase of this vehicle. Read more »

With USDA Assistance, Eastern Kentucky Renters Have a New Safe Housing Option

Some Prestonsburg, Kentucky residents have a new place to call home after the doors were opened recently on a newly constructed multi-family housing complex.  The complex was funded in part by USDA Rural Development.

Some Prestonsburg, Kentucky residents have a new place to call home after the doors were opened recently on a newly constructed multi-family housing complex. The complex was funded in part by USDA Rural Development.

Residents in the rural Eastern Kentucky community of Prestonsburg have a new place to call home after Preston’s Crossing opened the doors on a newly constructed multi-family housing complex. Prestonsburg is located in Floyd County, which is one of Kentucky’s  persistent poverty counties. Read more »

1890 Student Makes a Big Contribution at the USDA Rural Development Kentucky State Office

College student Latrice Watkins began an internship at the Kentucky USDA Rural Development State Office last summer – but her dedication, positive attitude and incredible work ethic led to an extended stay, which came to an end last week after seven months.

Watkins will graduate this spring from Kentucky State University – an 1890 Land-Grant Institution – with a degree in elementary education. Much to the disappointment of the state office staff who wanted her to stay on even longer, Watkins is leaving to begin two semesters of student-teaching. Read more »

Thousands of Residents in Kentucky and Tennessee will benefit from a USDA Recovery Act Broadband Project

Federal, state and local officials display a map that highlights the coverage areas in which expanded and improved broadband service will be offered. They include (from left) Tom Fern, State Director for Rural Development (Ky.), Trevor Bonnstetter, CEO of WK&T, RUS Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, Bobby Goode, State Director for Rural Development (Tenn.), and Jonathan Miller, Ky. Finance Cabinet Secretary.

Federal, state and local officials display a map that highlights the coverage areas in which expanded and improved broadband service will be offered. They include (from left) Tom Fern, State Director for Rural Development (Ky.), Trevor Bonnstetter, CEO of WK&T, RUS Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, Bobby Goode, State Director for Rural Development (Tenn.), and Jonathan Miller, Ky. Finance Cabinet Secretary.

USDA Rural Utilities Administrator Jonathan Adelstein visited Western Kentucky recently to announce the start of one of the largest broadband projects in the country. Read more »

Administrator Canales Tours Kentucky Manufacturer that is a Shining Example of Recovery Act Success

USDA Administrator Judy Canales (second from right) tours the McKechnie Vehicle Components  plant in Nicholasville, Ky. and is shown some of the automotive parts made on site. Administrator Canales toured the plant  with U.S. Rep. Ben Chander , Nicholasville Mayor Russell Meyer, Jeff Ball of Citizens Commerce Bank and Tom Fern, State Director for Rural Development.

USDA Administrator Judy Canales (second from right) tours the McKechnie Vehicle Components plant in Nicholasville, Ky. and is shown some of the automotive parts made on site. Administrator Canales toured the plant with U.S. Rep. Ben Chander , Nicholasville Mayor Russell Meyer, Jeff Ball of Citizens Commerce Bank and Tom Fern, State Director for Rural Development.

While touring the facilities of McKechnie Vehicle Components in Kentucky last month, USDA Rural Business and Cooperative Programs Administrator Judy Canales got up close and personal with many of the company’s employees whose jobs were saved thanks to assistance from Rural Development and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Read more »