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News Release

Release No. 0237.10
Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384

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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Recovery Act Assistance For Pennsylvania Business

USDA Loan Guarantees Will Create Jobs in the Keystone State

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 7, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced and highlighted investments that are providing critical support for a number of Pennsylvania businesses with funding made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). In a visit to the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Vilsack said that in the last six months, USDA has provided nine loan guarantees through the Recovery Act to businesses throughout the state.

"In Pennsylvania, the Recovery Act has guaranteed $35.6 million in business loans that are expected to save or create hundreds of jobs and this is great news for rural communities across this state," Vilsack said. "Supporting local economies in places like Turbotville and Richland, and now Williamsburg, is one of the many ways the Obama Administration and USDA are working to rebuild and revitalize rural America."

In Williamsburg, Pa., the Gulf Trading & Transport, LLC has been selected to receive a $5.4 million guaranteed loan to Heller limestone quarry as well as funding the equipment and machinery needed for operations. The Heller quarry is rich in high calcium limestone which is used in the control of emissions created by coal burning electrical generation equipment. The importance of the project is twofold. The project is expected to employ or retain the employment of 45 laborers and heavy equipment and truck operators in a town with a total population of 480. In addition, the high calcium content limestone is necessary in the desulfurization process which controls emissions.

Earlier this year, Susquehanna Trail Solar L.P. in Turbotville, Pa., received a $645,000 guaranteed loan to construct a Photo Voltaic System at an office complex owned by Susquehanna Trail Associates in Turbotville, The system will cover approximately 13,000 square feet of ground area. This will allow the placement of 922 panels at 230 watts each. The system will provide approximately 80 percent of the electrical power for an office building.

In Richland, Pa., Bethel Grain, LLC received a $10 million guaranteed loan to operate as a traditional grain elevator. Its primary business will be marketing, storage and transportation of grain. The firm will purchase, collect and store corn and soybeans from local farmers. In addition, the company will coordinate transportation to end users such as feed mills or larger terminal elevators, who turn coordinate larger shipments to domestic or international users. This loan guarantee is expected to create or save 45 jobs in the community.

With today's announcement, the loan guarantees that USDA has provided to more than 350 businesses in the last seven months will help create or save an estimated 23,500 jobs.

Through the Recovery Act, USDA Rural Development received $1.57 billion for Business and Industry guaranteed loans to help rural businesses stimulate their economies and support local communities. Eligible applicants include private businesses, cooperative organizations, corporations, partnerships, non-profit groups, Federally-recognized Indian tribes, public bodies and individuals. Funds must be used 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 More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national 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 $134 billion in loans and loan guarantees.


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