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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com December 18, 2018 • Page 7 USDA Launches New Program To Create High-Speed Internet E-Connectivity In Rural America WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2018 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering up to $600 million in loans and grants to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America. Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers and municipalities may apply for funding through USDA’s new ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service. Answering the Administration’s call to action for rural prosperity, Congress appropriated funds in the fiscal year 2018 budget for this broadband pilot program. USDA Rural Development is the primary agency delivering the program, with assistance from other federal partners. “High-speed internet e-Connectivity is a necessity, not an amenity, vital for quality of life and economic opportunity, so we hope that today rural communities kick off their rural broadband project planning,” Secretary Perdue said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA has worked to understand the true needs of rural communities facing this challenge so we can be strong partners to create high-speed, reliable broadband e-Connectivity.” USDA will make available approximately $200 million for grants (applications due to USDA by April 29), as well as $200 million for loan and grant combinations (applications due May 29), and $200 million for low-interest loans (applications due by June 28). Projects funded through this initiative must serve communities with fewer than 20,000 people with no broadband service or where service is slower than 10 megabits per second (mbps) download and 1 mbps upload. Approved projects must create access speeds of at least 25 mbps upload and 3 mbps download. Priority will be awarded for projects that propose to deliver highercapacity connections to rural homes, businesses and farms. USDA seeks to stretch these funds as far as possible by leveraging existing networks and systems without overbuilding existing services greater than 10/1 mpbs. Evaluation criteria include connecting agricultural production and marketing, e-Commerce, health care and education facilities. Previous research by USDA has demonstrated that high-capacity broadband is critical to all aspects of rural prosperity, including the ability to grow and attract businesses, retain and develop talent, and maintain rural quality of life. To help customers with the application process, USDA is holding a series of online webinars and regional in-person workshops. The full list of upcoming public webinars and workshops can be found at the ReConnect Program’s resource portal at reconnect.usda.gov. In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force. To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB). USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. There’s No Time Like Fair Time At The 2019 SD State Fair MV Shopper MV Shopper M I S S O U R I VA L L E Y In Print and Online! • 665-5884 M I S S O U R I VA L L E Y HURON, S.D. – The South Dakota State Fair has announced its 2019 State Fair theme – “There’s No Time Like Fair Time!” “The 2019 theme highlights the genuine excitement and energy people have for the fair. Fair time is a special time of year!” said Peggy Besch, South Dakota State Fair manager. “Whether you show animals at the fair or just come for the grandstand, there is something special about walking onto the fairgrounds for the first time each year. The blend of fresh woodchips, hot corndogs and sweet cotton candy rush your nose as you head to your destination, bringing back memories of nights running around the carnival or days with friends and family in the barns. There just simply is no time like Tax Revenue Generated From Wind Energy fair time.” Projects Move South Dakota Forward Each year the South Dakota State Fair boasts a variety of events including livestock LYONS, NEBRASKA – Wind energy projects in South Dakota power more shows, 4-H exhibits, carnival rides, free entertainment, than 30 percent of the state’s energy needs while generating tax revenue for and top-notch grandstand local schools and roads. A fact sheet released today by the Center for Rural Affairs analyzes the tax collection structure for wind energy generation in entertainment. The fair also hosts well over 400 venthe state. dors for fairgoers to visit. “Many people wonder what their community will get out of wind develAn updated State Fair logo has also been designed and opment,” said Lu Nelsen, policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs and can be viewed on the SD author of the publication. “New tax revenue from a wind farm is something State Fair website, www.sdstatefair.com. that benefits an entire community.” The 2019 South Dakota State Fair will run from Thurs“Fact sheet: South Dakota wind energy tax revenue” highlights tax day, Aug. 29, through Monday, contributions through nameplate capacity and production taxes. The state uses a combination of these two taxes to collect revenue from wind energy Sept. 2. Channel Seeds preview night will be Wednesprojects. day, Aug. 28. For more While much of this revenue remains in the county, legislation passed in information on State Fair events, contact the fair office 2016 decreases the portion given to at 800.529.0900, visit local school districts over 10 years. Christmas is here, and we hope the sdstatefair.com or find it The local school district would keep on Facebook or Twitter. all of its share for the first five years, season delivers much happiness and but starting in year six, the amount Agriculture is a major good fortune to you and yours! would decrease by 20 percent. In contributor to South Dayear 10, the revenue would be rediskota’s economy, generating tributed statewide instead. $25.6 billion “As South Dakotans move in annual economic actoward a renewable future, it’s tivity and employing over essential to determine how to keep 115,000 South Dakotans. these benefits local,” Nelsen said. “This ensures communities can The South We appreciate the year-round support of good make use of new revenue generated Dakota Department of friends like you, and we wish you all the best at by projects.” Agriculture's mission is For more information and to Christmas time and throughout the new year. to promote, protect and view the fact sheet, visit cfra.org/ FOR ALL YOUR preserve South publications/WindEnergyTaxRevAUTOMOTIVE, TRUCK AND Dakota agriculture for enueSD. TRACTOR PARTS COME TO: today and tomorrow. Visit them online at sdda.sd.gov or find them 1007 Broadway, Yankton, SD • 605-665-4494 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 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