Access Energy Cooperative used nearly $800,000 in USDA rural economic development grants and loans in 2013 to create a revolving loan fund that the Henry County Health Center used to purchase health information technology equipment for the surgical and outpatient departments.
Many recipients of USDA Rural Development’s 2013 rural business enterprise grants are supporting local foods efforts. Cass County used an $11,554 technical assistance grant to help develop sustainable and economically successful local foods systems that support farm-based businesses and entrepreneurs in the county.
Ottumwa Progress Inc. received a $62,676 grant to assist with construction costs, as well as the purchase of equipment for an educational and commercial kitchen area in an indoor farmers’ market facility helping small and emerging businesses. Winneshiek County Agricultural Extension District received a $48,000 grant to help purchase a refrigerated delivery truck and provide technical assistance to northeast Iowa food producers and processors through a food hub delivery and marketing service.
In addition to generating jobs, USDA Rural Development investments are also creating ongoing economic opportunities in rural America that will pay benefits for years to come.
The city of Bloomfield received $2 million in loan and grant funds to help establish an emergency connection to Rathbun Regional Water Association’s newly completed water treatment plant in case the city would need to access additional water in the future. The plant was supported by $20 million in USDA Rural Development loan funds and can treat six million gallons of water per day.
“We are very happy to be a partner with all the communities we serve as they work hard to make investments that will impact many future generations,” Menner added. “We also enjoy working with communities on much smaller projects that provide an outstanding opportunity for residents to work together and experience success. Many times, this success leads to bigger community-improvement initiatives.”