MASON CITY, Iowa –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested $22 million out of the up to $100 million in grants available to increase American ethanol and biodiesel sales. These funds were made available through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) to recipients in 14 states. The initial $22 million in HBIIP investments are projected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually.

“Investments made through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program are helping rural communities build stronger economies and will give consumers more choices when they fill up at the pump,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “President Trump has expanded ethanol use by unleashing year-round E15, and the result is more demand for American farmers and more affordable fuel for American consumers.”

  more...
ReConnect Funding to Provide High-Speed Internet e-Connectivity to More Than 746 Rural Households

CORNELL, Wisconsin – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $3 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Wisconsin. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.

“USDA supports both farmers and rural communities through investments in farm operations and essential infrastructure,” USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said. “Broadband is so important to farms and other businesses as it can help improve the quality of life in rural communities and help grow rural economies.”

  more...
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Investments will Benefit More Than 12 Million Rural Residents

WASHINGTON – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $72 million in grants to help rural residents gain access to health care and educational opportunities. These investments will benefit more than 12 million rural residents.

  more...
This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment situation report. In September, the United States added 661,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent.

In the last five months, 52 percent of the job losses from the pandemic have been recovered, and the United States has gained more than 11.4 million jobs, including a combined upward revision in July and August of 145,000 jobs. Although this year has not been easy, the grit of the American worker has not wavered, and we are in the midst of the fastest economic recovery in American history.

  more...