WASHINGTON, February 8, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 16 projects in 10 states for funding to create jobs and provide new economic opportunities. The projects are being funded through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDLG), which is administered by USDA Rural Development.
“The funding I am announcing today will help rural communities create jobs, support agricultural education, expand access to quality health care and support business development,” Vilsack said. “As the President said in his State of the Union Address last week, these investments plant the seeds of progress for our country, and good-paying, private-sector jobs for the American people as we work to win the future.”
REDLG provides funding to rural projects through local utility organizations. Under the program, USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. For more information on this program, please visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_redlg.html.
The following are selected projects that located in or near the KMZU listening area.  Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the loan or grant agreement. Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing more than $8.5 million to help rural communities. The loan funds will be leveraged by more than $80 million in private and public financing; while grant funds will be leveraged by more than $54 million in public/private funding.

Grundy Electric Cooperative, Inc. —$740,000 loan that will be used to assist North Central Missouri College with the construction of a new agricultural and natural resources campus to expand their educational program. This project will enlarge enrollment in the program to 200 students and is expected to retain an estimated 21 jobs, and create two new positions.

The Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton — $300,000 grant to help build a multi-purpose community center which will include a preschool center, library, recreation and fitness facility and a safe shelter for residents.
Hartland Power Cooperative —$740,000 loan to help fund a biodiesel refinery that will be located outside of Forest City, Iowa. This project will create an estimated 16 jobs.
Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative — $300,000 grant to help finance a library expansion that will offer more educational programming and training opportunities.
Sanborn Electric and Telecommunications Utility — $176,000 grant to enlarge Prairie View Home, nursing home facility.
Western Iowa Telephone Association — $300,000 grant to capitalize a local revolving loan fund to help develop office space in Moville.

Blue Valley Tele-Communications, Inc. — $740,000 loan to build and equip a new 5,000 square foot convenience store and retail space in Marysville, Kan, creating an estimated 12 jobs.
Bluestem Electric Cooperative, Inc. — $192,000 loan to help construct a new building and purchase equipment and expand a saw mill in Belvue, Kan., a community of 228.
Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc. — $300,000 loan to purchase a digital X-Ray machine for the Cloud County Health Center.