USDA Announces Projects to Create Jobs and Strengthen Economic Development Across Rural Iowa


July 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien today (Tuesday) announced the selection of projects in Iowa for loans and grants that will support job creation efforts, business development and strengthen economic growth in rural communities across the state.

Among the five projects receiving funds is the Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative, which will use a $344,000 loan to construct a 10,000-square-foot central warehouse facility for Grato Holdings, Inc. The new warehouse will consolidate the company’s operations.

O’Brien made the announcement in Clarinda, during a two-day tour in Iowa. The trip began with a groundbreaking ceremony at Manning Regional Healthcare Center, in Manning. USDA Rural Development is providing a $21 million loan to assist with construction of the hospital. Following the ceremony, O’Brien toured the new Clarinda Regional Health Center in Clarinda, Iowa. The health center recently received an $18.9 million USDA loan to help with construction costs.

Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG), which 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. With today’s announcement, the USDA says it is investing nearly $2.5 million to spur economic growth.