Union County receives $300,000 USDA grant Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that 17 utilities in 12 states have been selected to receive $9.2 million through USDA Rural Development's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. In South Dakota, for example, Union County Electric Cooperative, Inc. will use a $300,000 grant to create a revolving loan fund to assist with promoting economic development. "These loans and grants help rural communities keep existing businesses, attract new ones and stimulate local economies," Vilsack said. "USDA is partnering with local utilities to provide needed capital for economic development." The projects are expected to create or save more than 799 jobs in Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The grants announced today are part of USDA Rural Development's annual budget and are not funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the loan or grant agreement.