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:


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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 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).

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