DESMOINES, Iowa, Aug, 18, 2010 - TODAY, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new Recovery Act broadband projects that will create jobs and provide opportunities to rural residents in Iowa. The projects will provide access to improved service that can expand economic, health care, educational and public safety services to underserved rural communities. The announcement is part of the second round of USDA broadband funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).



Recovery Act Funds Safeguard Groundwater, Replace Aging Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the funding of projects in 20 states designed to protect public health by improving water quality and public sanitation services. The projects, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), are expected to provide construction jobs and create infrastructure needed to support community growth.

"Water and wastewater projects are moving forward in rural communities across the country and thanks to the Recovery Act, investments in water and wastewater infrastructure will help deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment throughout rural America," said Vilsack. "Through these projects, we are advancing the Obama Administration's economic recovery goals to rebuild and revitalize the nation's infrastructure. They will create urgently needed jobs when they are built and will support more job creation through rural economic development for years to come."

For example, the town of Norway, Maine, has been selected to receive a $385,000 loan and $1.1 million grant for wastewater system alterations that will improve sewer system efficiency, protect public health and safeguard groundwater quality. The project will replace ageing clay pipes, service lines and manholes. The new waste water system will reduce the waste water discharge from the Norway treatment facility into the Little Androscoggin River.

In Pitt County, N.C., the town of Bethel has been selected to receive a $256,000 loan and a $2.4 million grant to replace an aging water system that is constructed of iron, galvanized steel and asbestos-laden cement pipes. The tap water has a high iron level and is discolored. Pitt County is designated a Persistent Poverty County, with over 22 percent of the town's population below the poverty level. The project will improve water quality and boost water pressure.

The loan and grant funding announced today supports 60 projects and totals $159 million. To date, USDA has announced $2.3 billion in Recovery Act funds for water and environmental projects. The Recovery Act was signed into law by President Obama one year ago.

The funding announced today is being administered by USDA Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program which provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. Below is a complete list of award recipients, by state:

Alaska

  • Matanuska Susitna Borough: $48,000 loan and $714,500 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Georgia

  • City of Reynolds: $2,025,000 loan and $3,975,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

Illinois

  • Fayette Water Company (Herrick): $1,125,000 loan and $1,124,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Fayette Water Company (Laclede): $1,000,000 loan and $941,500 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • City of Lawrenceville: $6,040,000 loan; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • City of Roodhouse: $5,470,000 loan; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Iowa

  • City of Bronson $311,000 loan and $239,600 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Southern Iowa Fixed Based Meters: $1,488,000 loan and $3,433,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Southern Iowa RWA Corning/Creston: $1,971,000 loan and $774,900 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Southern Iowa SW Cass Water System: $1,794,000 loan and $5,373,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • City of Hastings: $493,000 loan and $682,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • Eastern Iowa Regional Utility Service Systems Commission: $373,000 loan and $694,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • Regional Utility Service Systems Commission: $419,000 loan and $1,064,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

Kansas

  • Consolidated RWD #5 Atchison Co.: $3,200,000 loan; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • City of Nortonville: $622,000 loan and $493,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Maine

  • Boothbay Harbor Sewer District: $342,000 loan and $250,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • Mars Hill Utility District (Sewer): $70,000 loan and $180,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • Mars Hill Utility District (Water): $750,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Town of Norway: $385,000 loan and $1,105,000 grant. The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

Minnesota

  • City of Pine City: $1,481,000 loan and $439,000 grant. The funding will be used for water system and wastewater system improvements.

Missouri

  • City of Caruthersville: $1,500,000 loan. The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • City of Essex: $845,000 loan and $833,900 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • Pike County PWSD #1: $2,732,000 loan; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • City of Clarkton: $1,505,000 loan and $1,500,000 grant. The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • City of Grandin: $364,000 loan and $216,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • New Madrid County PWSD No. 6: $1,066,000 loan and $948,600 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Montana

  • Wolf Creek WSD: $399,000 loan and $1,162,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

New York

  • Village of Angelica: $500,000 loan and $347,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Town of Avon: $212,000 loan and $488,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Town of LeRoy: $55,000 loan and $140,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Town of Middletown: $475,000 loan and $708,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Town of Oakfield: $420,000 loan and $338,200 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Town of Stafford Water District #5: $404,000 loan and $496,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Village of Granville: $4,700,000 loan; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

North Carolina

  • Town of Bethel: $256,000 loan and $2,426,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Town of Black Creek: $349,000 loan and $146,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • Carteret County: $1,046,000 loan and $1,515,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Town of Morehead City: $4,932,000 loan and $4,869,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Belfast-Patetown Sanitary District: $1,608,000 loan and $1,392,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Eastern Wayne Sanitary District: $2,164,000 loan and $1,811,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Southeastern Wayne Sanitary District: $3,529,000 loan and $2,971,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Town of Princeton: $333,000 loan and $458,800 grant; the funding will be used for water system and wastewater system improvements.

  • Town of Rose Hill: $1,585,000 loan and $1,736,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Vance County Water District Phase 2A: $2,196,000 loan and $1,622,800 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Vance County Water District Phase 2B: $3,937,000 loan and $1,987,450 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Ohio

  • Adams County Regional Water District: $736,000 loan; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Pennsylvania

  • Ligonier Township Municipal Authority: $3,171,000 loan and $6,773,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

South Dakota

  • Town of Oldham: $132,000 loan and $221,000 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • City of Hoven: $311,000 loan and $216,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system and wastewater system improvements.

Tennessee

  • City of Dyer: $405,000 loan and $71,000 grant; the funding will be used for water and wastewater system improvements.

  • Hampton Utility District: $695,000 loan and $288,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • North Utility District of Rhea County: $660,000 loan and $420,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Utah

  • Central Utah Water Conservancy District: $5,000,000 loan; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Sigurd Town: $620,000 loan and $2,266,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Vermont

  • Canaan Fire District No. 2: $491,000 loan and $1,386,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Virginia

  • Washington County Service Authority: $2,755,000 loan; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

  • Wythe County Old School Road Water: $640,000 loan and $426,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

West Virginia

  • City of Keyser: $4,500,000 loan and $3,100,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

Wisconsin

  • City of Kewaunee: $4,904,000 loan and $2,086,500 grant; the funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

  • Village of Gilman: $550,000 loan and $155,000 grant; the funding will be used for water system improvements.

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 funding is available again through three USDA programs to promote increased production of biomass and bioenergy.  The programs are authorized under the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (The Farm Bill).

  • Applications for remaining FY 2009 funding under the Biorefinery Assistance Program (Section 9003), which uses loan guarantees to develop, construct, and retrofit commercial-scale biorefineries, must be received by June 1, 2010.
  • Applications are also being accepted for remaining FY 2009 funding under the Repowering Assistance Program  (Section 9004), which provides for payments to biorefineries (that were in existence when the Farm Bill was passed) to replace the use of fossil fuels in their operations with renewable energy from biomass. Biorefineries interested in obtaining funding must apply by June 15, 2010.
  • Those biomass producers eligible under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels (Section 9005) may also apply to receive payment from remaining FY 2009 funds.  Applications must be received by May 30, 2010.  During the first round, the Department awarded funding to 123 recipients in 34 states to accelerate the production and usage of advanced biofuels.

"The Obama Administration is working aggressively to give our nation's rural communities, farmers, ranchers and producers of biofuels the financial tools they need to help bring greater energy independence to America," Vilsack said. "This funding will help the nation's advanced biofuel industry produce energy from sustainable rural resources, and in doing so create jobs and stimulate rural economies across the nation."

Under Section 9005, the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, payments are made to eligible producers in rural areas to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels. Payments are based on the amount of biofuels a recipient produces from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch.  Eligible examples include biofuels derived from cellulose, crop residue, animal, food and yard waste material, biogas (landfill and sewage waste treatment gas), vegetable oil and animal fat. Information on how to apply for payments can be found in the March 12, 2010, Federal Register. Information on how to apply for funding under Sections 9003 and 9004 is also available in the March 12, 2010 Federal Register or by going to http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/fr-cont.html#Rural%20Business-Cooperative%20Service. Funding for these programs is not provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The producer payments are intended to help biorefineries reduce energy costs and fossil fuel consumption - necessary steps toward meeting the nation's energy needs. The following is a list of biofuels producers that have already received funding under USDA's Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels. Recipients of payments less than $500 are not listed.

Alabama

  • Athens Biodiesel, LLC, $2,262.11

Arizona

  • Pinal Energy, LLC, $1,337,529.99

Arkansas

  • FutureFuels Chemical Company, $544,785.84
  • Pinnacle Biofuels, Inc., $20,085.18

California

  • Energy Alternative Solutions, Inc., $4,269.21
  • Imperial Valley Biodiesel, LLC, $1,999.57
  • Imperial Western Products, Inc. $55,105.91
  • Yokayo Biofuels, Inc., $8,308.57

Florida

  • Agri-Source Fuels, LLC, $7,103.50
  • Biofuel Consultants of North America, $2,004.77

Georgia

  • Alterra Bioenergy of Middle Georgia LLC, $530.98
  • Down To Earth Energy LLC, $1,062.62
  • Nittany Biodiesel, $196,949.91
  • The Edge Group, Inc., $8,167.17
  • U.S. Biofuels Inc., $106,208.25
  • American Proteins, Inc., $32,935.57

Hawaii

  • Pacific Biodiesel, Inc., $8,655.92

Idaho

  • Coeur D'alene Fiber Fuels, Inc., $203,769.40

Illinois

  • Blackhawk Biofuels, LLC, $258,309.90
  • Nova Biosource Fuels, Inc., $239,740.09
  • Valley Energy, Inc., $4,717.00

Indiana

  • E Biofuels LLC, $165,980.73
  • Indiana Flex Fuels, LLC, $5,164.00
  • Kingsbury Energy Group, $17,861.00
  • T and M Limited Partnership, $30,702.24

Iowa

  • Central Iowa Energy, LLC, $114,239.69
  • Iowa Renewable Energy, LLC, $216,592.82
  • Maple River Energy, LLC, $9,742.32
  • Renewable Energy Group, Inc., $727,132.93
  • Riksch Biofuels LLC, $10,401.22
  • Sioux Biochemical, Inc., $13,961.87
  • Western Dubuque Biodiesel, LLC, $253,695.87
  • Western Iowa Energy, $298,475.92

Kansas

  • Arkalon Ethanol, LLC, $663,270.50
  • Bonanza Bioenergy, LLC, $266,261.11
  • East Kansas Agri-Energy LLC, $34,500.65
  • Emergent Green Energy, Inc., $1,700.79
  • ESE Alcohol,        $17,688.56
  • Healy Biodiesel, Inc., $5,281.14
  • Kansas Ethanol, LLC,       $690,080.67
  • Nesika Energy, LLC, $104,104.40
  • Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy, LLC, $            824,692.23
  • Reeve Agri Energy Inc., $150,398.26
  • Trenton Agri Products LLC, $130,867.50
  • Western Plains Energy LLC, $848,999.36

Kentucky

  • Griffin Industries, Inc., $17,278.36

Maine

  • Corinth Wood Pellets, LLC, $176,855.44
  • Maine Woods Pellet Company, LLC, $231,291.84

Michigan

  • Hillside Farms, LLC, $793.50
  • Michigan Biodiesel, LLC, $1, 372.22
  • Scenic View Dairy, LLC, $10,219.43

Minnesota

  • Cargill Inc., $269,307.51
  • Chippewa Valley Ethanol Coop LLP, $8,560.08
  • Corn Plus LP,      $182,421.73
  • Fumpa Biofuels, $25,793.57
  • MN Soybean Processo, $565,695.38
  • Riverview LLP, $3,993.54
  • West River Dairy, LLP, $4,874.74

Mississippi

  • Greenlight Biofuels, $18,732.10
  • Scott Petroleum Corporation, $106,190.64

Missouri

  • Global Fuels LLC, $13,748.25
  • Mid-America Biofuels, LLC, $538,101.79
  • Natural Biodiesel Plant LLC, $26,909.55
  • Prairie Pride, Inc., $133,712.70
  • Show Me Energy Cooperative, $35,813.38

Montana

  • Earl Fisher Bio Fuels LLP, $586.66
  • Huls Dairy, Inc., $1,041.68

Nebraska

  • AG Processing Inc., $120,115.61
  • Chief Ethanol Fuel Inc., $1,345,588.16
  • Northeast Nebraska Biodiesel, LLC, $9,264.65

Nevada

  • Bently Biofuels Company, $2,144.76

New York

  • MST Production, LTD, $82,410.75
  • TMT Biofuels LLC, $1,728.06

North Carolina

  • North American Bio-Energies, $4,149.60
  • Piedmont Biofuels Industrial, LLC, $7,710.29
  • Triangle Biofuels Industries, Inc., $9,148.67

North Dakota

  • Archer Daniels Midland Company, $385,062.16

Ohio

  • American AG Fuels, LLC, $923.99
  • Arlington Energy, LLC, $1,699.77
  • Bridgewater Dairy, LLC, $2,028.39

Oklahoma

  • Ecogy Biofuels LLC, $85,057.55
  • High Plains Bioenergy, LLC, $329,457.85

Oregon

  • Green Fuels of Oregon, $643.33
  • Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc., $735.50

Pennsylvania

  • Middletown Biofuels LLC, $17,510.92
  • Soy Energy, Inc. dba Custom Fuels, Inc., $3,382.39

Tennessee

  • SunSoil, LLC, $2,811.54

Texas

  • Beacon Energy (Texas) Corporation, $69,453.37
  • Double Diamond Energy, Inc., $8,711.97
  • New Energy Fuels, LLC, $5,424.50
  • Levelland/Hockley County Ethanol, LLC, $432,305.71
  • Texas Green Manufacturing LLC, $558.14

Vermont

  • Audet's Cow Power, LLC, $757.59
  • Berkshire Cow Power, LLC, $2,107.69
  • David and Cathy Montagne, $586.29
  • Green Mountain Dairy LLC, $918.17

Virginia

  • Chesapeake Custom Chemical Corporation, $12,438.66
  • Red Birch Energy, $6,583.85
  • Virginia Biodiesel Refinery LLC, $23,341.53

Washington

  • Farm Power Rexville LLC, $1,115.41
  • FPE Renewables, LLC, $6,987.32
  • GDR Power LLC, $16,162.98
  • Imperium Grays Harbor LLC, $195,671.27
  • Inland Empire Oilseeds LLC, $8,012.82
  • Qualco Energy, $1,558.79
  • Standard Biodiesel USA Inc., $3,219.96
  • Whole Energy Fuels Corporation, $10,661.75

Wisconsin

  • Badger Biodiesel, Inc., $193,237.25
  • Best Biodiesel Cashton, LLC, $6,149.62
  • Bio Blend Fuels, $1,976.11
  • Buckeye Ridge Renewable Power LLC, $10,518.57
  • Clover Hill Dairy, LLC, $1,371.50
  • Green Valley Dairy LLC, $5,733.51
  • Grotegut Dairy Farm, Inc., $1,066.92
  • Holsum Dairies, LLC, $6,891.98
  • Norm E Lane, Inc., $2,264.82
  • Norswiss Digester, LLC, $11,535.15
  • Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy, LLC, $2,045.72
  • Quantum Dairy, LLC, $1,718.79
  • Stargest Power, LLC, $11,636.27
  • Statz Brothers, Inc., $1,464.80
  • Walsh Bio Fuels, LLC, $6,656.94
  • Sun Power Biodiesel, LLC, $9,050.39

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $130 billion in loans and loan guarantees.



WASHINGTON, March 10, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced 36 appointments to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board.  All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning immediately.

"These appointees represent a cross section of the beef industry and I am confident that beef producers and importers of cattle, beef and beef products will be well served by them," said Vilsack.

In 2009, according to USDA statistics, there were an estimated 950,000 farms with cattle representing approximately 93.7 million head of cattle at the beginning of 2010.  Top producing states included Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, California and Oklahoma.

Newly appointed members representing cattle producers are:  Barbara S. Jackson, Ariz.; Willem Bylsma, Calif.; Darrel C. Sweet, Calif.; Robert W. Buck, Colo.; Jeffrey L. Clausen, Iowa; Dean A. Black, Iowa; Daniel P. Herrmann, Kan.; Larry M. Olten, Kan.; Genevieve D. Lyons, La.; Andrew B. Salinas, Mich.; John C. Schafer, Minn.; David M. McCormick, Miss.; Kevin H. Frankenbach, Mo.; Kristy L. Lage, Neb.; Judith A. Reece, Neb.; Annalyn Settelmeyer, Nev.; Tamara A. Ogilvie, N.M.; Ernest B. Harris, N.C; Thomas A. Woods, Okla.; James C. Kesler, S.C.; Danni K. Beer, S.D.; Linda J. Gilbert, S.D.; Robert J. Reviere, Jr., Tenn.; Larry B. Pratt, Texas; Andrea W. Reed, Texas; D. Rudolph Tate, Texas; Bruce D. Dopslauf, Texas; Laurie L. Munns, Utah; Jane E. Clifford, Vt.; Larry D. Echols, W.VA; Martin A. Andersen, Wis.; Randall A. Geiger, Wis.; and Spencer A. Ellis, Wyo.

Newly appointed members representing importers are:  Alberto J. Senosiain, Fla.; Andrew Banchi, Penn.; and Scott A. Hansen, Va.

The Board oversees collection of $1-per-head on all cattle sold in the United States, and $1-per-head equivalent on imported cattle, beef and beef products. In addition, the Board contracts with established national, non-profit, industry-governed organizations to implement programs of promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications.

The 106-member Board is authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985. The secretary selects the appointees nominated by beef, veal, dairy and importers certified organizations.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees operations of the Board.

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that utilities in seven states have been selected to receive funds that will create jobs and new business opportunities in rural America.

"Providing community development assistance, education, training and technical support to the residents of rural communities is critical to the Obama Administration's effort to build a strong and sustainable economy," said Vilsack.  "This funding will create good jobs and new business development opportunities."

For example, Tideland Electric Membership Corporation in Washington County, N.C., has been selected to receive a $740,000 loan and $300,000 grant to help construct a manufacturing facility in an industrial park.  The new business will provide medical manufacturing jobs.

In Miner County, S.D., the Heartland Consumers Power District has been selected to receive a $740,000 loan and $300,000 grant to provide funding for the construction of a facility to provide training opportunities for workers in the renewable energy industry.

The funding announced today is provided under the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, administered by USDA Rural Development.  The program provides interest free loans and grants to local utilities that re-lend money to local businesses for projects that will create and retain jobs in rural areas. These funds are not provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Funding of each recipient is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the loan or grant agreement. The following is a complete list of recipients:

Illinois

  • Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative: $740,000 loan; to provide financing for the Fairfield Memorial Hospital's 25,000 square-foot medical arts building.

Iowa

  • Northwest Telephone Cooperative Association: $500,000 loan; to assist with expansion plans of business in West Bend
  • Grundy County Rural Electric Cooperative: $740,000 loan; to assist in the construction of a 15,000 square-foot data management center
  • Citizens Mutual Telephone Cooperative: $300,000 grant; to fund expansion and equipment upgrade for the Davis County Hospital
  • Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative, Inc.: $300,000 grant; to construct new high school in the Davis County Community School District
  • Consumers Energy: $300,000 grant; to finance the construction of a daycare facility in the community of Gladbrook
  • Independence Light & Power: $300,000 grant; to assist the Buchanan County Health Center
  • Corn Belt Power Cooperative: $300,000 grant; to fund public infrastructure project
  • Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative: $300,000 grant; to assist in the construction of a community building

Nebraska

  • Twin Valleys Public Power District: $300,000 grant; to assist in the construction of the Tri Valley Health System hospital addition
  • Loup Valleys Rural Public Power District: $300,000 grant; renovations to Valley County Courthouse

North Carolina

  • Tideland Electric Membership Corporation: $740,000 loan; $300,000 grant; to construct 20,000 square-foot manufacturing facility

Oklahoma

  • Caddo Electric Cooperative, Inc: $150,000 loan; to construct new office facilities for tornado-damaged accounting firm.

South Dakota

  • Heartland Consumers Power District: $740,000 loan; $300,000 grant; to construct the Maroney Training Complex

Tennessee

  • Tennessee Valley Electric Cooperative: $740,000 loan;  to construct addition and renovation to the Hardin Medical Center-Cancer Treatment Center

USDA Rural Development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facilities programs. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $130 billion in loans and loan guarantees.



USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
WASHINGTON, March 3, 2010 - Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to the School Nutrition Association and highlighted the Obama Administration's priorities for the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and issued a call to stakeholders to improve the health and nutrition of our nation's children. To highlight the nexus between nutrition and physical activity and USDA's collaboration with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a call to action to parents, community leaders, schools and elected officials to improve the nutrition and physical activity habits of our children by working together to double the number of HealthierUS Schools across the country.

"The reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act is an important opportunity to improve the health of our children and reduce hunger in this country but the federal government cannot do it alone because it's people who work in our schools that are on the front line of providing healthier meals, nutrition education and enabling more physical activity," said Vilsack. "I am challenging parents, educators, nutrition experts, and community leaders to join us in doubling the number of HealthierUS Schools across the country in the next year because we all have a stake in improving the health and nutrition of our children."

The Obama Administration has proposed a historic investment of an additional $10 billion over ten years starting in 2011 that will allow for the improvement of the quality of the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, increase the number of kids participating, and ensure schools have the resources they need to make program changes, including training for school food service workers, upgraded kitchen equipment, and additional funding for meal reimbursements for schools that are enhancing nutrition and quality. Additionally, this investment will allow additional fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products to be served in our school cafeterias and an additional one million students to be served the healthy diets in school.

Already, the administration has announced its plans to improve school meals, a financing initiative to reduce food deserts, new research tools that detail local food environments and health outcomes, including grocery store access and disease and obesity prevalence, and a broad range of public/private partnerships to solve America's childhood obesity epidemic.

The HealthierUS School Challenge recognizes schools that do an exceptional job promoting meal participation, meal quality, nutrition education, and physical activity. To highlight this program as the gold standard that we should expect of all our schools, last fall USDA expanded the HealthierUS School Challenge to middle and high schools. And in announcing the Let's Move! initiative, the First Lady called on stakeholders to double the number of participating schools in the next year and to reach 3,000 within the next three years. USDA is working with administering state agencies and a range of other partners, from professional sports leagues and youth associations to promote the program and meet this goal.

"USDA is committed to promoting nutrition standards and providing our children well-balanced, healthy meals during their school day," said Vilsack. "Lunches provided by the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are a vital resource that help children develop healthy eating and lifestyle choices that will be with them for a lifetime. Only by working together can we improve school meals and work to eliminate childhood obesity in a generation."

The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) was established to recognize schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity. Four levels of superior performance are awarded: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold of Distinction. Schools can participate in this model program by going to the HealthierUS School Challenge web page to learn about the range of educational and technical assistance materials that promote key aspects of the Dietary Guidelines. The website includes a menu planner for healthy school meals, and provides tips on serving more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and lower amounts of sugar, sodium, and saturated and trans fats in school menus.

Operating in more than 101,000 public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions nationwide, the NSLP works in concert with FNS's other nutrition assistance programs to form a national safety net against hunger. It provides school children of all economic backgrounds with a well-balanced, healthy meal that is designed to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In some cases, the school lunch is the main daily meal for a needy child.

More information about USDA's efforts to improve child nutrition can be found at www.usda.gov. Additional information on First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign is at www.LetsMove.gov.

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that applications are being accepted to provide affordable rental housing to rural residents through the Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program.

"The Obama Administration is committed to providing improved economic opportunities to the residents of rural America, and an important factor is clean, safe, affordable housing," said Vilsack.  "This program helps finance the construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of affordable multi-family rental housing for rural residents and I encourage eligible parties to apply for these funds."

Through the Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program, USDA Rural Development provides loan guarantees for private lenders and public agencies. Funds are not provided to individual renters. Up to $129 million is available for the program for Fiscal Year 2010.

In Fiscal Year 2009 USDA guaranteed loans to buy, build, or renovate more than 4,200 affordable rural rental housing units.  For application information see the Notice of Funding Availability which can be found in the February 26, 2010 Federal Register:  www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a100226c.html#Rural%20Housing%20Service.  Funding for this program is not provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

USDA Rural Development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $130 billion in loans and loan guarantees.



WASHINGTON, February 19, 2010 ? Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the funding of 47 projects designed to protect public health by improving water quality and public sanitation services in 19 states. The projects, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are expected to provide construction jobs and create infrastructure needed to support community growth.

"These investments in water and wastewater infrastructure will deliver safe drinking water and protect the quality of our environment," Vilsack said. "A safe, reliable water supply is vital to economic growth and development. Through these projects, we are helping to achieve the Obama Administration's economic recovery goals to rebuild and revitalize the nation's infrastructure."

For example, the state of Kansas will build eight projects including one in the city of Muscotah. The community has been selected to receive a loan of $240,000 and a grant of $506,000 to construct a new 65,000-gallon elevated water storage tank and install new water lines. Muscotah water system improvements will reduce waterline breakages, meet the state water pressure requirements, and provide community residents with safe, dependable drinking water supplies.

The Fort Smith Water and Sewer District in Montana has been selected to receive a $1,368,000 loan and $2,322,000 grant to construct a new well and well house, connect two systems to a main line, install new fire hydrants and water meters, and construct a 100,000-gallon water storage tank. These system improvements will boost community water pressure.

The loan and grant funding announced today totals $128.1 million. To date, USDA has announced $2.2 billion in Recovery Act funds for water and environmental projects. The Recovery Act was signed into law by President Obama one year ago.

The funding announced today is being administered by USDA Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program which provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. Below is a list of award recipients in the Midwest:

Illinois

  • Village of Marissa: $1,380,000 loan; $815,000 grant; water system improvements

  • FMC Water Company: $700,000 loan; water system improvements

Indiana

  • Mexico Community Regional Sewer District: $1,506,000 loan; $4,449,000 grant; wastewater system improvements

  • Town of Osgood: $2,370,000 loan; $778,000 grant; water system improvements

Iowa

  • Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA): $538,000 loan; $1,256,000 grant; wastewater system improvements

  • Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA): $181,000 loan; $402,000 grant; wastewater system improvements

Kansas

  • City of Burlingame: $890,000 loan; wastewater system improvements

  • City of Muscotah: $240,000 loan; $506,000 grant; water system improvements

  • City of Olpe: $355,000 loan; $570,000 grant; water system improvements

  • Osage County Rural Water District No. 6: $395,000 loan; water system improvements

  • City of Parker: $390,400 loan; wastewater system improvements

  • City of Smolan: $598,000 loan; wastewater system improvements

  • City of Weir: $237,000 loan; storm drain system improvements

  • City of Woodston: $342,000 loan; $484,000 grant; water system improvements

Minnesota

  • City of Maple Lake: $1,314,000 loan; $604,000 grant; wastewater and water system improvements

Missouri

  • Vernon County Public Water Supply District #7: $272,000 loan; $68,050 grant; water system improvements

South Dakota

  • City of Sisseton: $616,000 loan; water system improvements

Wisconsin

  • Village of Clyman: $2,317,000 loan; $1,727,000 grant; construction of a new Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF)

  • Village of Winneconne: $3,659,000 loan; $916,000 grant; wastewater treatment plant improvements

  • City of Mauston: $782,000 loan; $208,000 grant; water system improvements

  • City of Mauston: $694,000 loan; $204,000 grant; wastewater system improvements

  • Country Estates Sanitary District: $1,456,000 loan; $3,120,000 grant; wastewater system improvements

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.

# # #

Filing Period For Round Two of Broadband Applications Opens This Week

WASHINGTON, February 17, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of eleven Broadband Infrastructure projects to enable rural residents in nine states to have access to improved economic and educational opportunities. Funding for the projects is being provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law by President Obama a year ago today.  Additionally, USDA and The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have announced that a second filing window for broadband applications opened this week.

"The broadband projects we're announcing today will create construction jobs now to build high speed Internet networks in unserved and under-served communities. Deployment of broadband will support job creation and rural economic development," Vilsack said. "The Obama Administration and USDA are bringing broadband to rural America so that Americans can compete in a global 21st Century economy.  We are opening new opportunities not only for homes and businesses, but for community institutions such as health facilities, libraries, public buildings and community centers."

In rural Kentucky, for example, the Mountain Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation (MRTCC) has been selected to receive a $39.8 million loan and a $38.3 million grant to deploy a fiber cable-based broadband network in the counties of Morgan, Menifee, Wolfe, and Elliott.  All four counties are considered "distressed" by the Appalachian Regional Commission, and are challenged by mountainous terrain and limited highway and rail infrastructure.  MRTCC will bring broadband access to these counties to enhance economic and educational opportunities for residents and employers.

In rural Minnesota, the Southwest Minnesota Broadband Group (SWMBG) has been selected to receive an almost $6.4 million loan and a $6.4 million grant to extend fiber to the Jackson, Lakefield, Windom, Round Lake, Bingham Lake, Brewster, Wilder, Heron Lake, and Okabena communities.  This funding, along with an $88,000 private investment, will provide high-speed Internet, voice, and cable television to the participating communities.  This will improve the quality of life by increasing the availability of health, education, and public safety services across the region.

In all, over $277 million will be invested in the 11 projects through funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  An additional $1.6 million in private investment will be provided in matching funds.  Congress provided USDA $2.5 billion in Recovery Act funding to help bring broadband services to rural un-served and underserved communities.

Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan,   grant or loan/grant agreement. Below is a complete list of recent Recovery Act Broadband award recipients by state:

Indiana

  • Smithville Telephone Company, Inc.: $37,729,143 loan.  The funding will provide 3,815 households, 209 businesses, and 12 community anchor institutions with access to broadband service.

Iowa

  • Southeast Iowa Rural Wireless Broadband: $3,836,926 loan.  The funding will provide Internet services to 80 rural communities using proven wireless technology.

Kentucky

  • Mountain Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation (MRTCC) ILEC Broadband: $39,843,535 loan and $38,281,044 grant.  The funding will provide fiber to Morgan, Menifee, Wolfe, and Elliott counties that will result in 20 Mbps bandwidth to end users.

Louisiana

  • Allen's Cable - Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) Broadband Network Extension: $3,584,680 loan and $3,513,697 grant.  The funding will extend fiber into rural areas of three South Louisiana Parishes.
  • LBH, LLC, - Rural Broadband Powered by Fiber: $16,693,439 loan and $16,691,939 grant.  The funding will expand existing broadband into rural areas around Moss Bluff, Oakdale, and Vinton.

Minnesota

  • Southwest Minnesota Broadband Group (SWMBG): $6,350,000 loan and $6,350,250 grant.  The funding will provide service to eight rural communities throughout Southwest Minnesota.

Missouri

  • Unionville, Missouri FTTP Project: $5,140,458 loan and $5,140,458 grant.  The funding will provide broadband services to households, businesses, and key community organizations that are currently underserved in the Unionville area.

New Mexico

  • Western New Mexico Telephone Company, Broadband Infrastructure Project: $11,516,679 grant.  The funding will provide last mile broadband services to remote and unserved locations and critical community facilities throughout Western New Mexico.
  • Baca Valley Telephone Company, Inc.: $1,651,000 loan and $1,586,000 grant.  The funding will expand fiber optics to Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) nodes in rural Northeastern New Mexico, replacing outdated deteriorating copper wire and low bandwidth microwave transport systems in some areas, while providing new connectivity in others, and enabling advanced, high-speed DSL service throughout the area.

Oregon

  • Sandy Broadband Infrastructure Project: $374,548 loan and $374,537 grant.  The funding will provide broadband service to the underserved rural area of Sandy by improving and expanding wireless Internet service.

Texas

  • Southern Texas Broadband Infrastructure Development and Adoption Project: $40,093,153 loan and $38,520,868 grant.  The funding will develop a broadband infrastructure in eleven unserved and underserved rural communities of the South Texas Plains.

USDA is continuing to review broadband applications currently on file and expects to make additional announcements concerning awards throughout the current fiscal year.  Additionally, The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) on Tuesday began accepting applications for a second round of broadband grants.  Applications will be accepted until March 15, 2010 at 5 p.m. ET.

The application packages for electronic submissions is available at http://www.broadbandusa.gov.  Electronic submissions of applications will allow for the expeditious review of an Applicant's proposal, consistent with the goals of the Recovery Act. The government electronic application system will provide a date and time stamped confirmation number that will serve as proof of submission. The Recovery Act provided a total of $7.2 billion to the Department of Commerce and to USDA to accelerate broadband deployment in areas of the country that have been without the high-speed infrastructure.

You may obtain additional information regarding applications via the Internet at http://www.broadbandusa.gov.

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009.  It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century.  The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.

Guaranteed Loans Provided Through Recovery Act Funds Help Local Businesses and Supports the Nation's Renewable Energy Strategy

WASHINGTON, February 16, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $144 million in loan guarantees to assist 54 rural businesses through funding made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The funding is authorized through USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. The program received $1.57 billion through the Act to help rural businesses stimulate economic development.

"A number of the Recovery Act projects announced today support the President's comprehensive energy strategy announced earlier this month," said Vilsack. "Advancing biomass and biofuel production holds the potential to create green jobs, which is one of the many ways the Obama Administration and USDA are working to rebuild and revitalize rural America."

For example, in Hilo, Hawaii, Big Island Biodiesel, LLC, has been selected to receive a $5,000,000 loan guarantee through First Hawaiian Bank in Kahului to construct a $10 million, 2.64 million gallon per year biodiesel production plant in Keaau.  The feedstock for this biodiesel plant will primarily be used cooking oil, and potentially jatropha and algae.  More than one million gallons of used cooking oil and grease-trap oil will be diverted from Maui, Oahu, and Hawaii County landfills to produce the biodiesel. Hawaii has established an Alternative Fuel Standard (AFS) with the goal of providing 10 percent of highway fuel demand from alternate fuels by 2010, 15 percent by 2015, and 20 percent by 2020.

In Athol Massachusetts, Organic Renaissance, LLC, has been selected to receive a $450,000 loan guarantee to facilitate the provision of fresh, locally grown farm products to restaurants, retailers and other buyers.  The company intends to lease a building that is centrally located between Boston and farmers located in Mass., southern N.H., southern Vt., and northern Conn. The intent is to reduce shipping costs and enable cost-effective distribution of farm fresh produce by local rural businesses. The guaranteed loan will help to reduce costs and create opportunities for employment in a rural area as well as support the production of agricultural food products.

Eligible applicants for USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program include private businesses, cooperative organizations, corporations, partnerships, non-profit groups, Federally recognized Indian tribes, public bodies and individuals. The funds are targeted to create and retain quality jobs and serve difficult-to-reach populations and areas hardest hit by the current economic downturn.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal Government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.

A list of borrowers receiving loan awards is below.  Funding is contingent upon borrowers meeting conditions in the loan agreement.

Alabama
Conversion Technologies, LLC: $3,730,000

Arizona
SpeedSmart 112, Inc.: $6,399,393

California
Kenneth & Sharon Foster, Roger & Vicki Webb, Eel River Fuels, Inc.: $2,239,600

Florida
Blooming Acres: $1,500,000
Dreamland Limited: $1,500,000

Georgia
Alexander Printing Company, Inc.: $583,000
JVH&J International, LLC: $2,123,000
Moultrie Healthcare Properties, LLC: $10,000,000
Southside Plaza Developers, Inc., Dixie Discount, Curbert, Inc., and Barry T. Buchholz: $1,675,000

Guam
Quick Service Foods, Inc.: $500,000

Hawaii
Big Island Biodiesel, LLC: $5,000,000

Iowa
Northern IA Die Casting: $1,452,379
Schoon Construction, Inc., and Leroy & Judith Schoon: $3,325,000

Idaho
Valley Air Photos LLC: $1,415,536
Bosski, Inc., Thunder Mountain Properties LLC, and John and Collette Boguslawski: $450,000
True Value Hardware: $735,000

Illinois
Carri Scharf Materials: $5,000,000

Indiana
Montgomery-Besaw Leasing, LLC: $2,584,000

Louisiana
New Century Fabricators, Inc.: $3,525,000

Maine
A&J Industries, Inc.: $1,300,000

Massachusetts
Organic Renaissance, LLA: $450,000

Michigan
Vista Grand Villa: $3,000,000
CRB Real Estate: $1,356,328
PMU-LADD: $360,000

Minnesota
Kay's Processing: $700,000
Anderson Seed Co. Inc: $975,000

Missouri
Good Time Rentals, LLC: $205,000
Missouri Forge Inc.: $5,928,000
Cycle Connection, Inc.: $817,000

New Hampshire
Monadnock Economic Development Corporation: $6,377,920

Nevada
A.C.E., LLC: $350,000
T & N Properties, LLC and Leading Technology Development, LLC: $518,000

New York
Bestway NY/HDK/Builder's Best: $3,100,000
Bestway PA/Bestway South/ Bestway NE: $9,900,000

North Carolina
Orange Charter School: $700,000
Bendel Group LLC: $672,000

North Dakota
Minot Hospitality Partners, LLC: $5,000,000
Medora Environmental, Inc.: $3,000,000
RediFlame Inc.: $850,000

Oklahoma
Gallium Compounds, LLC: $2,650,000

Oregon
Oregon, Select Onion Company, LLC; et al.: $4,500,000
Oregon, RAM Trucking, Inc.; et al.: $450,000
Fiesta Foods of Oregon, Inc.: $6,900,000
Thatchers Hardware, Inc. and SDDZ, LLC: $712,683

Pennsylvania
Adonai Holdings, Inc.: $2,700,000

South Carolina
Ashlan Properties, LLC (Arby's Restaurant): $1,278,812
Industrial Management Services, Inc.: $2,600,000

Tennessee
Tennessee Materials Corporation, Inc.: $5,530,500
SomerOak Senior Living, LLC:  $3,300,000
Van Ayers Long Term Facility: $3,718,900

Texas
Frazier & Frazier Industries, Inc.: $7,242,400

Virginia
James River Car Wash, LLC: $285,000
Montgomery Restaurant Corp. and El Laurel, LLC: $1,360,000

Washington
Peninsula Plywood Group, LLC: $ 1,899,270

USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.

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