Seven million dollars in community-development funds are headed for several projects in Iowa from the federal Department of Agriculture. Dr. Dan Brown is state director of U-S-D-A rural development for the state of Iowa. He says the program lets current U-S-D-A recipients of funds turn around and loan federal money for economic-development projects in local communities. That’s why several grants going to electric co-ops will be used to build a new clinic, classrooms for a community college, and buy a fire truck for Rock Rapids. The U-S-D-A grants money to coops, which put it into revolving loans for local entities and when it’s paid back, they can loan it out again. He says supporting development in their local communities helps them thrive and keeps strong the economy in which the coops’ customers do business. Incidentally, Dr. Brown lives in Iowa Falls and commutes daily to an office in Des Moines. Though he says he’s put on 43-thousand miles in less than ten months on the job, he loves the opportunity to see so much countryside, and use Iowa ethanol.
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