rural development – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ Sat, 19 Mar 2022 02:56:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://indicerural.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png rural development – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ 32 32 Iowa Rural Development Council Announces 2022 Iowa Rural Summit | News https://indicerural.com/iowa-rural-development-council-announces-2022-iowa-rural-summit-news/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 15:36:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/iowa-rural-development-council-announces-2022-iowa-rural-summit-news/

Iowans interested in issues vital to rural communities are invited to attend the 2022 Iowa Rural Summit, hosted by the Iowa Rural Development Council. The event will take place April 12-13 at the Gateway Hotel and Convention Center in Ames, Iowa. Communities are encouraged to enter teams of three, although individuals are also eligible to attend the event. New for Summit 2022, college students interested in rural issues and economic development can register at a reduced price.

To register for the event as an individual, team or student, visit www.iowardc.org/summit. The cost for a team of three is $210. Individuals can register for $190 and students for $25. Registration fees include admission to all Rural Summit events, breakfast on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and lunch on Tuesday.

“We look forward to a big Summit this year in Ames,” said Bill Menner, executive director of the Iowa Rural Development Council. “Last year’s Summit brought together nearly 250 Iowans, and we hope Ames’ central location will encourage more to attend this year.”

Pre-summit events on April 11 include a rural housing readiness assessment workshop and a tour of the Iowa State Digital Fabrication Lab. Another pre-conference tour will feature Gross-Wen Technologies and a demonstration of its algae-based system used to treat the city’s wastewater.

Tuesday the 12th features sessions on how to make rural areas more welcoming and how to recruit and train rural leaders. Other topics on day one include the growth of rural agri-tech businesses, building broadband for all, housing success stories, aging and living in place. The day ends with the presentation of the first Rand Fisher Award for Rural Leadership.

Wednesday’s events include a panel discussion on the impacts of the 2020 U.S. Census. Additionally, the popular “45 Ideas in 45 Minutes” session allows communities to share their successes. The day ends with a closing speech from Iowan Brenda Clark Hamilton on the need for dynamic leadership in rural Iowa. The Summit adjourned at noon.

The Iowa Rural Development Council was created in 1992 by presidential decree. Today, a wide range of public-private partners support its goal of empowering small towns and building the capacity of rural leaders.

Sponsors for this year’s summit include the Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa Initiative, ITC Midwest, Iowa Small Business Development Centers, DA Davidson, IADG Community Foundation, Impact 7G, Grinnell Mutual, AARP, Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor and Monkeythis.

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USDA opens technical assistance grant round to support rural community facilities https://indicerural.com/usda-opens-technical-assistance-grant-round-to-support-rural-community-facilities/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 09:49:50 +0000 https://indicerural.com/usda-opens-technical-assistance-grant-round-to-support-rural-community-facilities/ In the past, the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez campus has been among the entities that have received this type of grant to help disadvantaged rural communities. (Credit: FEMA/Eduardo Martínez).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications through May 23 to provide funding to help rural communities expand their ability to access financial resources to support the construction or upgrade of essential community facilities.

The funding is being made available through the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program, said Luis R. García, acting state director for rural development for USDA in Puerto Rico.

The grants enable eligible public entities as well as private and nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance and training to help grantees identify and plan for community facility needs in their area. Once these needs have been identified, the beneficiary can seek additional public and private financial resources.

In the past, entities such as the Foundation for Puerto Rico, the Sila María Calderón Foundation, Pathstone Corporation, Centros Sor Isolina Ferre, and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Campus have received these types of grants to help disadvantage rural communities.

All paper applications must be postmarked and posted, shipped or sent overnight by 4 p.m. local time on May 26, 2022.

This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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Oban Named USDA State Director of Rural Development | The mighty 790 KFGO https://indicerural.com/oban-named-usda-state-director-of-rural-development-the-mighty-790-kfgo/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 21:30:42 +0000 https://indicerural.com/oban-named-usda-state-director-of-rural-development-the-mighty-790-kfgo/

Erin Hill Oban

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden today named several people to fill key regional leadership positions, including Erin Oban as USDA North Dakota’s State Director of Rural Development.

A White House press release said the appointees will be essential to the president’s efforts to rebuild communities hardest hit by the pandemic, economic recovery and climate change.

Oban appeared on Afternoons Live with Tyler Axness and said the nomination was an honor. She said the extensive process began in December.

“I feel really lucky to be able to use some of the skills and relationships I developed as a legislator to be able to continue to serve North Dakotans,” Oban said. “One of my favorite parts of the job…is connecting people to programs and problems with solutions.”

She said there are incredible staff in rural development that she is willing to work with. She said the first thing she needs to do is learn from the people who have done the work, gain the trust of the staff and do outreach to make sure people know what the ministry has to do. to offer.

Oban said she was excited to get down to business and help people.

“I want to be an example of what government is supposed to do right, and right, and in a way that’s non-partisan,” Oban said. “This work is non-partisan. Government, in partnership with communities, can really help people have the life they want to have.

Oban grew up on a family farm in Ray, ND, a small rural community in the heart of Bakken oil country. She moved to Bismarck where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Mary.

In 2014, Oban was elected and re-elected in 2018 to represent Central Bismarck’s District 35 in the North Dakota State Senate. During her two terms in the Legislative Assembly, she served on the Senate Committees on Education, Energy and Natural Resources, Agriculture, Government Affairs and Veterans Affairs, and Political Subdivisions.

Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Congressman Kelly Armstrong released statements after the administration’s announcement.

“USDA’s rural development programs provide important support to rural America, helping to strengthen and diversify local economies and ensure access to essential services,” said Committee Distinguished Senator Hoeven. Secretary of Agricultural Credits and member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. “We will continue to work to provide the USDA with the tools necessary to achieve these goals, and we look forward to discussing the priorities and needs of our rural communities with State Director Oban.”

“The USDA State Director of Rural Development plays an important role as a point of contact for grants, loans, and loan guarantees to help create jobs, support economic development, and provide essential services. . From water to telecommunications, USDA Rural Development provides critical assistance to North Dakota communities. I look forward to working with Ms. Oban to improve the economy and quality of life in North Dakota,” said Senator Cramer.

“I served with Erin in the State Senate. She is smart, thoughtful, and will work hard every day for the people of North Dakota. I congratulate her on her appointment and look forward to working with my friend,” Rep. Armstrong said.

Oban is currently employed as Director of Community Engagement with the Central Regional Education Association, where she supports the efficiency and effectiveness of education through partnerships between school districts and local organizations and agencies, regional and national organizations to provide programs and services to students, families, and educators in their communities.

Biden announced nominations for USDA, FEMA and HUD.

Steve Dick and Nikki Gronli of South Dakota were also nominated. Dick will serve as the executive director of the South Dakota State Farm Service Agency. Gronli has been named the USDA’s state director of rural development in South Dakota.

]]> The best days are ahead for the rural economy https://indicerural.com/the-best-days-are-ahead-for-the-rural-economy/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 05:00:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/the-best-days-are-ahead-for-the-rural-economy/

As a lifelong Hoosier, I grew up raising beef cattle on my family’s farm in Austin and have been involved in rural communities ever since.

During my 20 years of service in the Indiana House of Representatives, I have been committed to creating better opportunities for rural Indiana through educational, agricultural, and rural development initiatives, including the expansion of broadband connectivity. Under the leadership of President Biden and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, I look forward to continuing these efforts.

Last week, President Biden used his first State of the Union address to talk about where our country is and where we are headed.

The president mentioned a lot of things we can be proud of and even more to look forward to, especially in rural America.

The country has faced profound challenges over the past year, and the people of rural America know it better than anyone.

But rural communities are resilient, and as rural America has succeeded, so has the rest of the country.

That’s why the progress we’ve made in rural Indiana over the past year is a good sign for everyone. By investing in water and broadband infrastructure, rural business opportunities, and America’s food supply chain, USDA helps communities build the foundation for sustained economic growth.

For example, last week my staff attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the City of Cannelton’s $11.4 million wastewater treatment infrastructure project. With assistance from the USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, the city will replace 6,000 feet of damaged sewer lines, build a new lift station, and construct a new sewer facility. wastewater treatment that will benefit nearly 1,600 people.

A great example of how we’re helping support Indiana’s food supply chain is investing in agricultural producers and small businesses like family-owned cheesemakers Jacobs & Brichford. Farmers recently received a $247,000 value-added producer grant to expand marketing and sales of their award-winning raw milk cheese products.

Additionally, through programs such as the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program and the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program, we are responding to the President’s call to create more resilient, diversified and secure supply chains. Promoting competition in the processing sector will mean fairer prices for farmers, greater value for workers, and more affordable, healthier food produced closer to home for families.

These investments create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. They help grow the economy from the bottom up and from the middle as the president said. And they contribute to a circular economy where the resources and wealth we build in rural Indiana stays right here in Indiana.

And they are just the beginning. In the State of the Union, President Biden has pledged to build a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, begin replacing toxic lead pipes — so that every child — and every American — have clean water to drink at home and at school, to provide affordable high-speed Internet service for every American – urban, suburban, rural and tribal communities.

The Biden-Harris administration’s plan for the economy is already producing historic wins, and anyone can participate, regardless of zip code.

That’s why we’re optimistic that our best days are ahead of us.

By giving everyone a fair chance and providing equitable access to federal resources, we can do our part to realize the President’s economic vision. That means making more stuff right here at home, strengthening our supply chains, and lowering costs for working families. It means giving people the opportunity to earn a good living without having to leave the communities they know and love.

For many of us, that means staying here in rural Indiana.

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New Michigan Office of Rural Development announces chief https://indicerural.com/new-michigan-office-of-rural-development-announces-chief/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 04:04:58 +0000 https://indicerural.com/new-michigan-office-of-rural-development-announces-chief/ What is happening: Michigan’s Office of Rural Development was first announced earlier this year, the result of a Executive Directive that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released Jan. 4, 2022. Now the fledgling office has its head: Sarah Lucas, Michigan’s first deputy for rural development. Lucas was announced as an assistant on Tuesday March 15 and is officially set to start on Monday April 18.

A bit of context: the Rural Development Office operates within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), created to meet and advance the needs of rural communities throughout the state. The office will coordinate and facilitate rural development efforts and serve as a point of contact for community leaders on issues facing rural areas.

Target areas: As announced when it was created, the Rural Development Office will endeavor to work with Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) on issues of economic development and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) on affordable housing issues. Additional focus areas include sustainability, environmental conservation, and green energy efforts; address population and demographic trends; education issues; expand access to high-speed Internet; and working with tribal leaders in Michigan.

“Through inclusive collaboration, we are committed to investing in our rural communities and businesses through job creation, infrastructure and housing expansion, and environmental sustainability,” said Gary McDowell, director of MDARD. “Sarah [Lucas] will focus on reinvigorating Michigan’s rural economies and be their partner on the critical issues they face.”

About Sarah: Lucas has spent the past 20 years in community and economic development in small communities and rural areas of Michigan, most recently serving as CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership in Marquette County. She lives with her family in Marquette.

What they say : “Having spent most of her career in small towns and rural areas of Northwest Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, Sarah has a deep connection and understanding of the challenges facing our rural communities,” says McDowell. “His more than 20 years of passion and experience will serve the people of Michigan well.”

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Op-Ed Brighter days ahead for the rural economy https://indicerural.com/op-ed-brighter-days-ahead-for-the-rural-economy/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 23:22:24 +0000 https://indicerural.com/op-ed-brighter-days-ahead-for-the-rural-economy/

Nashville, Tenn. (TN Tribune)—Growing up on a family farm in West Tennessee, I remember my parents sharing with me the struggles to rise to the middle class. They had humble beginnings owning a small frame house before they could build a new house on the same property. This was accomplished with the help of Farmers Home Administration, now known as USDA Rural Development. It is an honor to represent our agency and its mission to build prosperity for rural America.

Last week, President Biden used his first State of the Union address to talk about where our country is and where we are headed.

The president mentioned a lot of things we can be proud of and even more to look forward to, especially in rural America.

The country has faced profound challenges over the past year, and the people of rural America know it better than anyone.

But rural communities are resilient, and as the success of rural America goes, so does the rest of the country.

That’s why the progress we’ve made in rural Tennessee over the past year is a good sign for everyone. By investing in water and broadband infrastructure, rural business opportunities, and America’s food supply chain, USDA helps communities build the foundation for sustained economic growth.

In fiscal year 2021, Lauderdale Community Hospital received a $7.5 million commercial and industrial loan to purchase hospital assets to prevent the West Tennessee rural hospital from closing. . This purchase maintains the access of very poor rural areas to emergency medical care during the COVID 19 pandemic, the employment of highly qualified professionals (saving 72 jobs) and the possibility of creating new employment opportunities.

These investments create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. They help grow the economy from the bottom up and from the middle as the president said. And they contribute to a circular economy where the resources and wealth we build in rural Tennessee stays right here in Tennessee.

And they are just the beginning. In the State of the Union, President Biden has pledged to build a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, begin replacing toxic lead pipes, so that every child and every American has clean water to drink at home and at school, to provide high-speed Internet for all Americans – urban, suburban, rural and tribal communities.

The Biden-Harris administration’s plan for the economy is already producing historic wins, and anyone can participate, regardless of zip code.

That’s why we’re optimistic that our best days are ahead of us.

By giving everyone a fair chance and providing equitable access to federal resources, we can do our part to realize the President’s economic vision. That means making more stuff right here at home, strengthening our supply chains, and lowering costs for working families. It means giving people the opportunity to earn a good living without having to leave the communities they know and love.

For many of us, that means staying here in rural Tennessee.

From the USDA office Rural Development – Arlisa Armstrong, Tennessee State Director

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Better days are ahead for the rural economy – www.elizabethton.com https://indicerural.com/better-days-are-ahead-for-the-rural-economy-www-elizabethton-com/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 18:15:11 +0000 https://indicerural.com/better-days-are-ahead-for-the-rural-economy-www-elizabethton-com/

BY ARLISA ARMSTRONG
Growing up on a family farm in West Tennessee, I remember my parents sharing with me the struggles of rising to the middle class. They had humble beginnings owning a small frame house before they could build a new house on the same property. This was accomplished with the help of Farmers Home Administration, now known as USDA Rural Development. It is an honor to represent our agency and its mission to build prosperity for rural America.
Last week, President Biden used his first State of the Union address to talk about where our country is and where we are headed.
The president mentioned a lot of things we can be proud of and even more to look forward to, especially in rural America.
The country has faced profound challenges over the past year, and the people of rural America know it better than anyone.
But rural communities are resilient, and as rural America’s success goes, so does the rest of the country.
That’s why the progress we’ve made in rural Tennessee over the past year is a good sign for everyone. By investing in water and broadband infrastructure, rural business opportunities, and America’s food supply chain, USDA helps communities build the foundation for sustained economic growth.
In fiscal year 2021, Lauderdale Community Hospital received a $7.5 million commercial and industrial loan to purchase hospital assets to prevent the West Tennessee rural hospital from closing. . This purchase maintains the access of very poor rural areas to emergency medical care during the COVID 19 pandemic, the employment of highly qualified professionals (saving 72 jobs) and the possibility of creating new employment opportunities.
These investments create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. They help grow the economy from the bottom up and from the middle as the president said. And they contribute to a circular economy where the resources and wealth we build in rural Tennessee stays right here in Tennessee.
And they are just the beginning. In the State of the Union, President Biden has pledged to build a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, begin replacing toxic lead pipes — so that every child — and every American — have clean water to drink at home and at school, to provide affordable high-speed Internet service for every American – urban, suburban, rural and tribal communities.
The Biden-Harris administration’s plan for the economy is already producing historic wins, and anyone can participate, regardless of zip code.
That’s why we’re optimistic that our best days are ahead of us.
By giving everyone a fair chance and providing equitable access to federal resources, we can do our part to realize the President’s economic vision. That means making more stuff right here at home, strengthening our supply chains, and lowering costs for working families. It means giving people the opportunity to earn a good living without having to leave the communities they know and love.
For many of us, that means staying here in rural Tennessee.
(Arlisa Armstrong is the Tennessee State Director for Rural Development at the USDA)

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Lake Superior Community Partnership CEO Sarah Lucas Appointed Rural Development Assistant https://indicerural.com/lake-superior-community-partnership-ceo-sarah-lucas-appointed-rural-development-assistant/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 15:39:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/lake-superior-community-partnership-ceo-sarah-lucas-appointed-rural-development-assistant/

MARQUETTE COUNTY, Michigan (WLUC) – Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP) CEO Sarah Lucas was recently appointed to the new Michigan State Office of Rural Development, effective April 18.

“While we are disappointed to see her leave the LSCP, we are delighted that Sarah is joining the Office of Rural Development, for which the LSCP has been a cheerleader in supporting its establishment,” said the board chairwoman. administration of the LSCP, Roxanne Daust. “This Department of State is extremely important to Upper Michigan, and we are thrilled to have a friend of the LSCP and the community lead the new department.”

In January, Governor Gretchen Whitmer created the Office of Rural Development within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) via Executive Directive 2022-01 to focus on the strategic needs of rural Michigan, including including economic and labor development, infrastructure, public health. , and environmental sustainability.

“I have spent my career working with and advocating for the causes of rural communities and I care deeply about the challenges and opportunities they face,” said Lucas. “I am honored to have this opportunity to use the knowledge and relationships I have built over the years to support rural Michigan through the Office of Rural Development, and I am excited to continue working with partners like the LSCP in this new role.”

As Deputy Rural Development, Lucas will serve as the state point of contact for community leaders on pressing rural issues.

“Having spent most of her career in small towns and rural areas of Northwest Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, Sarah has a deep connection and understanding of the challenges facing our rural communities. His more than 20 years of passion and experience will serve the Michiganders well,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “Rural Michigan is a fundamental part of Michigan’s economy. This new office will play a crucial role in supporting MDARD’s efforts and leading new ones as we work together to build a more prosperous rural economy.

During his tenure as CEO of LSCP, Lucas spearheaded new community initiatives and led the implementation of the organization’s vision and strategy. To ensure continuity and continued momentum on all of the LSCP’s strategic priorities, Lois Ellis, Executive Director of the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance (DAEDA), will serve as interim CEO while the position is filled. while continuing to serve in his current position. Ellis worked for the LSCP as Vice President for many years prior to her role in the Dickinson area. She works daily directly with LSCP staff as a key regional partner in economic development.

“With such an experienced team currently at LSCP, I am confident the transition will be smooth until the new CEO is hired,” Ellis said. “The community can continue to expect our team to continue to meet the county’s economic development needs.”

Lucas’ last day with the LSCP will be April 15, 2022. The board is currently looking for a replacement for the position.

Copyright 2022 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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Accelecom and The Center for Rural Development creates partnership https://indicerural.com/accelecom-and-the-center-for-rural-development-creates-partnership/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 14:45:21 +0000 https://indicerural.com/accelecom-and-the-center-for-rural-development-creates-partnership/

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Accelecom and The Center for Rural Development (CRD) have teamed up to bring new fiber-optic infrastructure to the CRD’s 45 county region. As the exclusive partner with the KentuckyWired network, Accelecom has been busy investing and expanding fiber within the region for local business use and facilitating Kentucky internet service providers to reach new areas to provide broadband service.

As the COVID pandemic hit, the CRD wanted to assist rural area health departments to upgrade their access to a high-speed secured fiber network so they could utilize Telehealth solutions.

Richard Taylor, Executive Vice President of CRD, and Dana Nickles, Executive Director of the Kentucky Health Departments Association and Kentucky Public Health Association, worked to explore this opportunity. Taylor explains, “We were right in the middle of the pandemic. We realized we needed to come up with a bold move forward and make a difference. This all really began as a telehealth initiative. Health departments were at the forefront of all of this so we pulled together a panel of Kentucky healthcare experts and asked what we could do to help while they were flooded. These experts proposed items like electronic medical record (EMR) software and other projects, which were great ideas, but highlighted a huge missing component: broadband connectivity. When the discussion was expanded to include health department directors, we uncovered that they needed better broadband.”

Healthcare organizations are having to rely on bandwidth-intensive applications, meaning they need access to a network that is high-speed and reliable. The demand for easy access to healthcare services is going to continue to grow, placing greater expectations on healthcare providers. With telehealth visits on the rise, especially thanks to the pandemic, it’s important that Kentucky healthcare providers stay in front of connectivity concerns within their local communities.

Patients’ experiences and expectations should be the top concern for healthcare organizations moving forward. “That’s where Accelecom was brought in,” Taylor states. Accelecom successfully helps these rural healthcare organizations in Kentucky, like Lake Cumberland Health District or Pike County Health Department, get access to reliable internet and ethernet services.

Having access to high-speed, fiber broadband allows Kentucky healthcare providers the ability to communicate more efficiently, not only internally throughout their multi-location sites, but also with their patients. Having multiple departments and locations on one private network is huge for both efficiency and security.

These clinics will also now be able to properly offer telehealth solutions to their patients. By connecting to Accelecom’s network, these rural clinics, which are already strapped for cash, are not only saving money but are increasing their ability to offer software features their patients otherwise couldn’t have. “This is an exciting time for healthcare in Kentucky. Broadband availability has always been a challenge in our rural areas.

Bringing these low-cost, high-speed connections will give these health departments enough speed to utilize new bandwidth-intensive applications and allow them to grow into the future without worrying if they have the capability,” states Kathryn Robertson, Director of Business Development at Accelecom.

Click here for more Kentucky business news.

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Better days ahead for the rural economy | Local News https://indicerural.com/better-days-ahead-for-the-rural-economy-local-news/ Mon, 14 Mar 2022 16:57:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/better-days-ahead-for-the-rural-economy-local-news/

As a lifelong Hoosier, I grew up raising beef cattle on my family’s farm in Austin and have been involved in rural communities ever since. During my 20 years of service in the Indiana House of Representatives, I have been committed to creating better opportunities for rural Indiana through educational, agricultural, and rural development initiatives, including the expansion of broadband connectivity. Under the leadership of President Biden and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, I look forward to continuing these efforts.

Last week, President Biden used his first State of the Union address to talk about where our country is and where we are headed.

The president mentioned a lot of things we can be proud of and even more to look forward to, especially in rural America.

The country has faced profound challenges over the past year, and the people of rural America know it better than anyone.

But rural communities are resilient, and as rural America’s success goes, so does the rest of the country.

That’s why the progress we’ve made in rural Indiana over the past year is a good sign for everyone. By investing in water and broadband infrastructure, rural business opportunities, and America’s food supply chain, USDA helps communities build the foundation for sustained economic growth.

For example, last week my staff attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the City of Cannelton’s $11.4 million wastewater treatment infrastructure project. With assistance from the USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, the city will replace 6,000 feet of damaged sewer lines, build a new lift station, and construct a new sewer facility. wastewater treatment that will benefit nearly 1,600 people.

A great example of how we’re helping support Indiana’s food supply chain is investing in agricultural producers and small businesses like family-owned cheesemakers Jacobs & Brichford. Farmers recently received a $247,000 value-added producer grant to expand marketing and sales of their award-winning raw milk cheese products.

Additionally, through programs such as the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program and the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program, we are responding to the President’s call to create more resilient, diversified and secure supply chains. Promoting competition in the processing sector will mean fairer prices for farmers, greater value for workers, and more affordable, healthier food produced closer to home for families.

These investments create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. They help grow the economy from the bottom up and from the middle as the president said. And they contribute to a circular economy where the resources and wealth we build in rural Indiana stays right here in Indiana.

And they are just the beginning. In the State of the Union, President Biden has pledged to build a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, begin replacing toxic lead pipes, so that every child and every American has clean water to drink at home and at school, to provide high-speed Internet for all Americans – urban, suburban, rural and tribal communities.

The Biden-Harris administration’s plan for the economy is already producing historic wins, and anyone can participate, regardless of zip code.

That’s why we’re optimistic that our best days are ahead of us.

By giving everyone a fair chance and providing equitable access to federal resources, we can do our part to realize the President’s economic vision. That means making more stuff right here at home, strengthening our supply chains, and lowering costs for working families. It means giving people the opportunity to earn a good living without having to leave the communities they know and love.

For many of us, that means staying here in rural Indiana.

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