News

USDA Hazlett Visits Iowa

posted on Thursday, June 7, 2018 in News


USDA Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development, Ann Hazlett, was recently in Iowa to announce financial awards and see the results of USDA supported projects. The first order of business was the announcement of $309 million of USDA investment to improve rural electric infrastructure in 12 states. Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) hosted this event at their Cedar Rapids office. Iowa utilities receiving awards included Farmers Electric Cooperative who received a $1.4 million USDA loan to invest in smart-grid projects. Harrison County REC in Woodbine also received a $6 million loan to build and improve their lines and make additional 
system upgrades. 

Hazlett also spent time learning more about the FIND (Fulfilling Iowa’s Need for Dentists) program. To date, nearly $3 million USDA Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDL&G) funds have supported 13 rural electric cooperative and independent telecommunications companies provide pass-through loans or revolving loan funds to establish or expand dental practices in rural Iowa. The FIND (Fulfilling Iowa’s Need for Dentists) initiative was developed to address the state’s shortage of practicing dentists and bring dental care closer to home for all Iowans. IADG became a partner in this initiative a decade ago and actively works to connect future dentists with potential locations throughout Iowa. As a result, 44 dentists have chosen to practice in Iowa. FIND can provide up to $100,000 in dental education financial assistance to new dentists dedicated to practicing in under-served areas of Iowa. For more information on FIND, contact IADG’s Bruce Hansen or Sue Cosner at 800-888-4743.