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Category: News

USDA expands investment in Elgin ag producers

A couple of “good eggs” have hatched a plan to expand a national program to Elgin that could strengthen the connection between urban demand for local food and rural supply from farmers and ranchers. Local producers, governmental officials, and area supporters of the growing farm-to-table movement packed into the Austin Community College Elgin Campus Monday…

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Farms key to renewable energy development, feds say

Farms have always been hotbeds of invention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is hoping that a needed spark for renewable energy development will come from agriculture. “With all the great folks who live in rural America, we truly think we’re going to see some things that no one even thought of before,” said Lillian…

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Lessons from the Field: A New Series for Food Hub Development

Since 2009, USDA has invested in 29,100 local food opportunities, including food hubs, small scale processing and farmers markets across all 50 states and the US territories. These investments include over 12,000 loans and micro-loans to small-scale producers who often sell products locally and over 13,000 high tunnels (low-cost covered structures that extend the growing season and…

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Co-op Month: Much to Celebrate, But Much More to Do!

There is so much to celebrate during National Cooperative Month in October, as the U.S. co-op business sector is generating about $650 billion in annual sales and accounts for more than 2 million jobs. But the cooperative business model remains a “best-kept secret” for far too many people who could be benefitting from membership in co-ops. It…

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Resuscitated Biorefinery Breathes New Life into Rural Ohio Community

Erik Chaffer considers himself an optimist. Still, he found himself feeling pretty low as he watched the Great Recession knock the legs out from under the rural Ohio ethanol plant he helped manage. “Everything was pretty good until July 2008. It was just a ‘perfect storm’ type of situation,” said Chaffer. “The unknown is the…

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A USDA Business Loan Guarantee Helps a North Carolina Company Compete and Hire More Workers

During these difficult economic times we know that one of the best ways to help aid in the recovery process is to assist businesses that create jobs, and spur growth. In Troy, North Carolina, USDA Rural Development had the opportunity to highlight our successful efforts with a local company Aseptia/Wright Foods. Lillian Salerno, Acting Administrator for USDA’s Rural…

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USDA Official Highlights Federal Programs That Help Create Jobs, Provide Access to Capital in Washington and Oregon

“Show me the money.”  You have heard that phrase, right? Made famous by the 1996 film  Jerry Maguire, we have all probably heard it said a thousand times, and yet, the phrase remains just as valid today. Owners of rural businesses are asking the same question because finding capital is a major challenge for those…

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