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rural develoment

$1 Billion Invested in Rural Health Care Across 13 States

In late 2011, the President announced a White House Rural Council initiative lead by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to invest in rural health and link rural doctors and hospitals to financing for health IT. The initiative was designed to address the need for financing to support the adoption of health IT systems in rural communities.  Financing has been cited as one of the top challenges for rural doctors and hospitals serving remote and poor communities.

Between 2012 and 2014, the HHS and USDA led initiative generated approximately $1 Billion in rural health care financing across 13 states. These investments, funded by USDA, included grants and loans to help rural clinics and hospitals transition from paper to electronic health records (EHRs), encourage exchange of health information with health care providers and patients, and offer telehealth services.

Secretary Announces Refinancing Help for Rural USDA Home Loan Borrowers in Select States

Today, rural homeowners in 19 states across the nation are getting some much-needed and long-awaited help to cope with declining home values and a sluggish housing market.

Secretary Vilsack announced today a pilot program to help rural borrowers with loans made or guaranteed by USDA refinance their mortgages to reduce their monthly payments. This initiative is part of the president’s on- going efforts to help middle class families, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. Since the Obama Administration took office three years ago, Secretary Vilsack has worked closely with the White House to ensure that rural Americans continue to enjoy the many benefits of homeownership.

Texas City Teams Up With NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders to Help End Summer Hunger

On July 6th, I attended an event to kick-off this season’s Summer Food Service Program in Texas and to celebrate the state’s third annual “Mayor’s Challenge” to end child hunger during the summer. The event was held at NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders’ youth camp in Duncanville, Texas.

“Raising of the Ball”-A South Dakota Community Uses Recovery Act Funds to Improve its Water System

USDA Rural Development joined Ipswich, South Dakota city officials, congressional staff, partners, and members of the community recently for a “raising of the ball” event.    There was excitement in the air as the National Anthem was sung by members of the Ipswich High School chorus, drum roll, and all eyes focused on the crane raising the “ball” to complete the 150,000 gallon elevated tower.    This was definitely a site to see as history was in the making in this small rural town – population 943.  The original system, including the tower and lines were constructed back in 1910 – 100 years ago.

Recovery Act Money Clears Loan Backlog, Helps North Dakota Farmers

North Dakota farmers and ranchers have received more than $1.7 million in Recovery Act funding through direct operating loans offered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). The funding, made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), improved FSA’s ability to make loans to farmers and ranchers that are unable to obtain commercial credit from a bank. 

USDA Agencies Collect Food, Hold Contest, to Benefit DC Area Families

The final USDA Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families event, a food sculpture contest, was held August 19, at the Whitten Patio, in the USDA National Office in Washington, D.C. There were five USDA Agency teams competing. USDA Rural Development took first place!  We had a great team that planned and worked well together and had a lot of fun in bringing home the win. The judges commented that our entry best tied together rural America, farms, and food and was the most original. The food drive is nationwide and continues through August 31st.  For more information, click here.

Recovery Summer in Iowa-USDA Business Administrator Highlights an Economic Success Story

“Today the conversations I have with my business colleagues, family and friends are focused around the best ways to rebuilding the U.S. economy,” said Jerry Lorenzen, President of World Food Processing, in his opening remarks at a public event at his company’s headquarters in Oskaloosa, Iowa, last week.