OSKALOOSA – With millions of dollars recently spent on rural development programs, Iowa State Director of Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture Theresa Greenfield is encouraging communities in Iowa consider partnerships with USDA for project funding.
“From fire trucks to single-family homes to business sector loans to water and wastewater, we have about 45, maybe almost 50 different programs that we run throughout the year,” said Greenfield. “Contact our regional directors, contact the state office, because if your community has an idea for something you need, maybe we can partner with a grant or a loan to help you do it. “
This month, the Biden-Harris administration announced two new rural development support programs.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Dec. 7 that the department will make up to $ 800 million available to support biofuel producers and infrastructure. $ 700 million will be offered in the form of direct payments to biofuel producers facing economic hardship and market losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An additional $ 100 million will be made available for biofuel infrastructure grants for the cost of installing, upgrading or upgrading infrastructure to ensure the availability of environmentally safe biofuels.
The food supply chain loan guarantee program was also announced last week.
According to USDA.gov, the department will partner with lenders to guarantee loans of up to $ 40 million to help eligible entities expand their meat and poultry processing capacity and finance other infrastructure. of the food supply chain.
“You hear about supply chain issues all the time,” Greenfield said. “This is really focused on the middle of the supply chain… Whether it’s a meat processor, a chicken processor, someone who freezes and stores products, whoever is in the midst of supply chain businesses – and many of them are located in rural areas – it’s dollars to help them grow their businesses, start new businesses, and grow.
Producers, communities or businesses wanting to learn more about applying for a loan can do so at rd.usda.gov