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tom williams

USDA Seeks Applicants for Loan Funds to Create Rural Jobs

Applications are being accepted starting today from qualified non-profit and public organizations (intermediaries) to provide loans to create jobs by promoting new business development. Funding will be made available through USDA’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). Intermediaries work as partners with USDA and serve as a critical component to boosting local economies.

The Intermediary Relending Program is USDA Rural Development's primary program for capitalizing revolving loan funds. Since President Obama took office, the program has created or saved an estimated 20,000 jobs nationwide.

USDA Rural Development Helps Make Holidays Merry for Pennsylvania Children

Rather than the traditional office name exchange this year, the Pennsylvania USDA Rural Development State Office staff added a new twist.  Each employee made a list of toys they enjoyed as children. The lists were exchanged and employees purchased toys for an eight year old version of their co-worker.  The wrapped toys were recently distributed at an office holiday gathering.

The staff enjoyed opening baby dolls, remote control helicopters, games and puzzles. As children, the staff may have had a difficult time handing over their new “toys” to strangers.  However, smiles were all around as over 30 unwrapped toys were picked up by two uniformed Marines to be delivered to their local distribution center.

USDA Rural Energy for America Program Helps A Pennsylvania Farm Produce Solar Energy

I recently joined David Fink, at his Heidel Hollow Farm in Germansville. The family-owned, 1600 crop acre hay farm was awarded two USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants totaling $231,230. The grants will be used toward a solar energy project that will provide approximately 252,869 KW of electricity used in the hay compressing operation of the farm. David will also be able to replace one diesel engine with five electric motors, saving over 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.  Both projects will significantly reduce the farm’s energy costs.