Fate of Rural America: Sec. Vilsack announces spending to help small towns & businesses

Some major spending will be coming out of Washington which is headed for rural America.

The Department will be spending $266 million through loans and grants intended to help producers and small rural businesses invest in renewable energy. The hope is to lower energy costs and generate new income. While speaking to a group at the Farm Progress Show, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said finding new income and opportunities is key to keeping residents in rural America.

“Now all of a sudden kids are staying in that school and its expanded. Those shops aren’t boarded up, they’ve got customers. That hospital can stay open so you don’t have to travel hundreds of miles to get health care. Now all of a sudden, you also have a population in rural communities, and this is the most important thing I’m going to say, that supports this country in this way: 15% of this nation’s population lives in rural America; 30% of military comes from rural America. If you have fewer kids, you have fewer people available for the military. So this isn’t just about agriculture. It’s about the fate of small towns and rural America.”

USDA will be making these grants and loans available in nearly all 50 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

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