MISSOURI – Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced late last week the $349 million in funding for 15 rural electric infrastructure projects to build or improve more than 1,844 miles of transmission and distribution lines for rural electric cooperatives and utilities in 13 states. Vilsack says the state of Missouri will see a big portion of this funding.
The funds are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program, which makes insured loans and loan guarantees to non-profit and cooperative associations, public bodies and other utilities. The loans primarily finance the construction of electric distribution facilities in rural areas.
USDA has been committed to improving production and transmission of electricity for rural America since the creation of the Rural Electrification Administration in 1935. In 2014 alone, USDA’s Rural Utilities Service awarded $2.7 billion in electric loans. These loans helped 4.6 million rural residents receive improved electric service. Hear the exclusive interview with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and KMZU’s Nathan Stuedle.