Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) economic development investments in the Vermont now total more than $222 million during fiscal year 2017. Federal funds supported a broad range of activities in thirteen Vermont counties, including business development, housing construction and purchases, municipal investments in infrastructure and awards to academic institutions of higher education.
The funds were made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development (USDA-RD) an arm of USDA focused on helping rural communities thrive.
Leahy is a leading member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees USDA and handles the Senate’s work in writing Farm Bills, and he now also is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which annually appropriates funds for the USDA.
For 2017 USDA RD awarded more than $9 million in business loans and grants, assisted more than 400 Vermonters in purchasing homes, and invested $128 million in community facilities and infrastructure.