January 10, 2013
On January 9, USDA released their Rural Development Progress Report for Fiscal Year 2012. The report highlights success stories from USDA Rural Development’s active portfolio, including the following rural business development programs:
According to USDA, these grants and loans helped 9,700 rural small business owners or farmers and saved or created 53,000 jobs.
The Report highlighted specific project examples for two priority programs at NSAC. The first was in the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan (B&I) program, which includes a funding set-aside for local and regional food systems. For example, the B&I program guaranteed a $4.2 million loan to Vermont’s Brattleboro Food Co-op to expand their facilities. The expansion allowed the Co-op to provide market space for 200 farmers and support 100 jobs in the area.
In the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), Red’s IGA of Spring Grove, MN was awarded an $8,000 grant. Red’s used the grant for the purchase and installation of new energy efficient refrigeration doors, allowing them to save an estimated $500 a month off their energy bills.
Accompanying the report, USDA created a map with the state-by-state Fiscal Year 2012 data and related examples.
The economic development successes highlighted by USDA Rural Development in their FY 2012 report illustrate the importance of continuing the push to fund these vital programs. NSAC will continue to advocate in the annual agricultural appropriations process and in the Farm Bill reauthorization for strong Rural Development programs.