Northern Electric Cooperative, Inc. Awarded Funding from USDA

2 Nov 2016

Huron, South Dakota, July 18, 2016

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the investment of more than $9 million in loans and grants to support job growth and economic development in 12 states. The funding is being provided through USDA's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, through which USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to utilities that lend funds to local businesses for projects to create and retain employment.

"Small businesses are the cornerstone of the rural economy," Vilsack said. "During the Obama Administration, USDA's investments have directly helped more than 100,000 small business get off the ground or expand, and the projects announced today will help 15 more rural communities see job growth and economic development."

One of the organizations selected for funding in South Dakota is Northern Electric Cooperative, Inc. based in Bath.  It has been approved for a $300,000 grant to help the Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen construct a youth center.  This project is expected to create or save 24 jobs.

Under today's announcement, USDA is investing in 15 projects to create jobs and expand economic opportunity in rural communities. Funding of each award announced today is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

USDA Rural Development has a strong track record of strengthening rural businesses and economies through its Rural Business-Cooperative Service. For example, in 2015, FEM Electric Association, Inc. used a $300,000 Rural Economic Development grant to assist the Eureka Hospital with medical equipment for their new hospital addition, clinic, and assisted living facility.

For information on how to apply for REDLG loans or grants, contact a local Business & Cooperative Program Specialist or the State Office for more details about the application requirements and process:

Dana Kleinsasser, Rural Business & Cooperative Programs Director (Huron State Office)
Phone: (605) 352-1142

Cayla Hilbrands, Assistant (Huron State Office)
Phone:  (605) 352-1142

Shelby Kraemer, Assistant (Aberdeen)
Phone:  (605) 226-3360, Ext. 4

Gary Wedel, Specialist (Mitchell)
Phone: (605) 996-1564, Ext. 105

Clark Guthmiller, Specialist (Pierre)
Phone: (605) 224-8870, Ext. 120

Hettianne Cekalla, Specialist (Rapid City)
Phone: (605) 342-0301, Ext. 118

Jolene Pravecek, Specialist (Yankton)
Phone:  (605) 665-2662, Ext. 116
your Rural Development state office or contact

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (@USDARD) has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; financed 185,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. For more information, visit