The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that President Donald Trump’s executive order to create a task force to help increase prosperity in rural America has helped seven million people across the nation.
Through the USDA direct loan program, 400 projects in 44 states received funding, according to USDA.
“USDA infused $1.5 billion into rural areas in 2017 through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program for projects such as schools, libraries, municipal centers, first responder vehicles and equipment, social service buildings, recreational activities and other community needs,” the press release announcing the development stated. “These investments are helping nearly 7 million rural residents.”
“Partnering with our small towns and cities to support essential services that rural residents need is one way USDA is facilitating prosperity in rural America,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in the announcement. “USDA’s investments will help communities significantly improve their schools, hospitals and public safety facilities, and improve the quality of life.”
In January Trump spoke to farmers in Nashville, Tennessee about his plan to improve the lives of rural Americans, including through the Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Task Force’s report that outlines 100 recommendations to achieve that goal.
Breitbart News reported:
The task force, created by a Trump executive order in April, focuses on five areas: expanding fast and affordable Internet to rural populations, promoting economic development through free market strategies and less federal regulations, advancing technological innovation, developing the rural workforce through education and training, and improving quality of life through access to infrastructure, including transportation and health care.
The 44 states receiving funds are Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The agency provided details about some of the projects:
• The city of Ludington, Mich. received a $1.6 million loan to replace a 50-year-old fire station. The new, larger station includes a training room, administrative offices and locker and storage rooms for equipment and supplies. The project will benefit more than 8,000 residents.
• NCCD – West Hills Properties LLC in Austin, Texas, received a $33 million loan to build a 464-bed, 170,400-square-foot dormitory on the campus of Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. The building will be used primarily for full-time engineering and agriculture students.
• Community Action Realty in Williamsport, Pa., received a $775,000 loan to acquire a building for Head Start classrooms for residents of Lycoming and Clinton counties. The larger space will allow for continuous oversight and coaching, increase safety for the children, and improve service delivery.
• The Willow Oak Montessori Foundation Inc., in Pittsboro, N.C., received a $5.6 million loan to construct three 11,000-square-foot buildings for students at the Willow Oak Montessori Charter School. The school will add an 8th grade and kindergarten for the 2018-2019 school year when the project is completed. The school serves children in grades 1 through 7.