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USDA announces guaranteed loans made available to help rural businesses

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Guaranteed loans are going to help some rural businesses encourage the purchase of locally grown products.
Guaranteed loans are going to help some rural businesses encourage the purchase of locally grown products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced loan guarantees that may help businesses in communities that rely on farm equipment to make a living.

The $144 million in guarantees from the USDA are going to 54 rural businesses across the country. The funds were made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and were authorized by the department's Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said that the loan guarantees support an over-arching strategy from President Barack Obama regarding energy.

"Advancing biomass and biofuel production holds the potential to create green jobs, which is one of the many ways the Obama administration and USDA are working to rebuild and revitalize rural America," Vilsack said.

For example, Massachusetts-based Organic Renaissance will receive a loan guarantee of $450,000 in order to help provide locally grown products to restaurants and retailers.

The efforts of the company reflect the desire of the USDA to improve the connection between locally based producers and the people who live in their region. The department's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative has worked to connect communities with farmers in that work in their area.
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