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Federal ag program delivers $470 million boost to Minnesota

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that its Rural Development program invested about $470 million throughout rural Minnesota in 2007. Since 2001, Rural Development has invested almost $4 billion in Minnesota's rural communities. USDA Rura...

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that its Rural Development program invested about $470 million throughout rural Minnesota in 2007.

Since 2001, Rural Development has invested almost $4 billion in Minnesota's rural communities.

USDA Rural Development has three major program areas: housing, community programs and business and cooperative programs.

Through its community program's division - which finances everything from new sewer systems to new hospitals, day-care centers or electric and broadband infrastructure - Rural Development invested $264 million.

Almost $200 million was invested through the agency's housing programs, which finances single-family homes and apartment complexes.

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Through the agency's business and cooperative programs, which finances business start-ups or expansions, renewable energy projects and value-added agricultural ventures, Rural Development invested $9 million.

"We can build a community from the ground up," said Steve Wenzel, state director of Rural Development in Minnesota. "We can build a home, hook it up to water and sewer, finance the building of a local hospital, power it all with renewable energy and invest in local businesses and economic development ventures."

USDA Rural Development has 16 offices throughout Minnesota. To learn more about Rural Development and its programs, and to find an office near you, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn .

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