USDA Rural Development in South Dakota reports that more than $289.1 million was invested in the state from October 1, 2010 – September 30, 2011. As outlined in the agencies Annual Report, the funds assisted in the areas of housing, business and community development, energy, and telecommunications.
"USDA Rural Development invested millions of dollars in South Dakota's rural communities through partnerships with business leaders, stakeholders, state government, congressional staff, and citizens," said South Dakota Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks. "South Dakota employees work hard at ensuring rural communities have access to the financial resources available through our agency to stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for South Dakotans."
Projected benefits and highlights of the funding include:
- Creating 1,082 jobs and saving 1,107 jobs through the $15.6 million in loans and grants for dedicated to rural business, economic development and cooperative projects.
- Serving 1,390 families through $170.1 million dedicated to rural affordable housing loans, grants and rental assistance.
- Improving service to 4,293 new water users and building or improving 23 community facilities through $68 million in loans and grants.
- Building or upgrading electric utility and telecommunications services for rural households, businesses, schools and governments through $35.3 million in loans and grants.
USDA Rural Development is the one federal agency that can build a community from the ground up and continues to position itself as a 'lender of first opportunity' in South Dakota. USDA Rural Development administers federal programs in business assistance, affordable housing, community facility financing, water and waste infrastructure for rural communities and other technical assistance through offices across South Dakota. The agency also supports financing critical rural health care facilities, building reliable electricity delivery, and improving rural access to upgraded telecommunications service. USDA Rural Development has eight offices in the state that assist rural communities. Office locations include a state office in Huron, along with area offices in Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Yankton.
USDA, under its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $134 billion in loans and loan guarantees.