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Message from the President

Bruce Nuzum, NREDA President

Many NREDA member utilize USDA RD's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program to assist economic and community development projects and create revolving loan funds to serve their communities and regions. So I wanted to share some exciting news about the program. However before I get to that, you should know that NREDA has been working with USDA RD's National Office to collect data about the impacts on investment and job creation the REDL&G program has had Nationally. In partnership with the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) we hope to present great information back to you that we will all be able to use as we inform our Congressional Delegations about the importance of the program. So stay tuned for more information!

As for the great program news: The recently passed continuing budget resolution means that REDL&G announcements should start happening soon. USDA RD tells me that funding for the program has remained steady on the grant side of the program with approximately $9 million available for this fiscal year and with a little help from some carry-over from last year, increased to as much as $50 million on the loan side of the program. That's great news for NREDA members and rural America! But the news gets better in that USDA RD will soon be announcing that the loan limit is going back to $2 million per application for this fiscal year already underway.

Time will be of the essence which is why I wanted to devote this column to the subject even before the announcement is official. Regular applicants to the program know that the upcoming June 30 deadline is the due date for 4th quarter applications -- the last to be funded with this year's budget authorization. So you'll need to act fast! Please know, we'll send out a blast email to the membership when we see the official announcement. But I wanted to share the news as quickly as possible.

NREDA Leadership Awards

In recognition of outstanding leadership in the field of rural economic development, the NREDA seeks to honor deserving individuals across America. Nominees may be economic development professionals or rural electric cooperative/rural telephone staff or board members. Nominees are those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in an economic development project resulting in the improvement of the quality of life, creation of new jobs, and opportunity for growth and development in rural America.

Click here for a list of previous NREDA Award winners.

2017 Rural Economic Development Leadership Award was presented to Dennis Mingyar, Director of Economic Development, Ohio's Electric Cooperatives, Columbus, OH (2nd from left). Presenters included ( L to R): Jim Vermeer, (Dennis), Linda Salmonson and Mike Meissen.

Jim Vermeer presents Charlie Walker, President & CO, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation, Chippewa Falls, WI the 2017 Rural Economic Development Leadership Award

Accepting the 2017 Organization Excellence Award is Clancy Courtney for South Carolina Power Team, Columbia, SC pictured with NREDA President Jim Vermeer.

The 2017 Organization Excellence Award was also presented to Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation, Algona, IA. Picture L to R: NREDA President Jim Vermeer, Nominator Jed Skogerboe, Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, Maureen Elbert KPACEDC, and Norm Fandel, Midland Power Cooperative.

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