USDA highlights 2020 rural development investments in Illinois
USDA Rural Development State Director Douglas Wilson says the agency invested more than $648 million in rural Illinois communities this year.
In a summary of USDA’s fiscal year 2020 accomplishments, Wilson highlighted specific investments impacting Illinois including $105 million through the ReConnect Program supporting rural broadband and $72 million to expand access to safe drinking water and improve wastewater management systems.
He says they also helped bolster rural economic development by investing $5 million in the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to increase biofuel sales as well as $62 million in assistance to rural businesses through a loan guarantee program that created and saved more than 600 jobs.
With the COVID-19 pandemic making lifestyle changes for rural residents, USDA also helped with six distant learning and telemedicine projects in the state.
Wilson says their staff will “continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, work diligently, and provide the best possible customer solutions to proactive tasks in 2021”.