Klobuchar, Smith Announce Federal Investment to Strengthen the Economy in Rural Minnesota

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (Both D-Minn.) are announcing a new investment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to strengthen local economies in rural Minnesota. The funding supports a host of programs, which will help boost small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural communities through job training, business expansion, and technical assistance.

“This federal funding will help small businesses and entrepreneurs access the workforce development opportunities that are key to supporting economic growth,” said Senator Klobuchar. “I’ll keep fighting to ensure rural Minnesotans have the resources they need to thrive.” 

“These investments will help rural ag producers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs hire more employees, reach new customers, and grow their businesses,” said Senator Smith. “Investments like these are fundamental to the success of our rural areas and local economies in Minnesota.”

These investments will open the door to new economic opportunities for Minnesota communities who have historically lacked access to critical resources and financing. Additionally, they will help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers across the state hire more workers, grow their businesses, and find new and better markets for their products. For example:

  • Northern Pride, Inc. will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to increase processing, marketing and delivery of locally raised turkey products to area consumers.
  • Mille Lacs Energy Coop will use a $300,000 grant from the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program to construct a fire hall / public safety building in McGregor, Minn. The current facility is not adequate to store the required emergency equipment on site nor provide necessary exhaust extraction. The new facility will address capacity issues for years to come.
  • The Food Coop Initiative will use a $200,000 Rural Cooperative Development Grant to provide technical assistance to rural food cooperatives in central Minnesota.