Serving Southeastern Montana Counties of Custer, Powder River, Rosebud & Treasure

2021 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies.

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BOZEMAN, Mont., July 27, 2021 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Montana Acting State Director Jake Ceartin today announced that USDA is investing $1 million to support rural economic development in Montana. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. Through this program, USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to utilities. The utilities then lend funds to local businesses for projects that create and retain employment in rural areas. Eligible applicants are USDA’s Electric Program and Telecom Program, borrowers. “Through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, USDA Rural Development Montana is pleased to work with our utility companies to provide funding which will ultimately be used by local businesses to generate workforce opportunities and support Montana’s expanding economy,” stated Ceartin.  The Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative, Inc. will use a $1 million loan to help Custer County construct a multi-use building in Miles City, which will support at least 15 full-time jobs over the next three years.  “The multi-use building will not only serve as a workforce training venue for Miles City’s businesses and residents but will also be positioned to accommodate increased tourism activities and events,” Ceartin noted.  “And it will be integrated into Custer County’s Disaster and Emergency Services Recovery Plan.” To learn more about investment resources for Montana’s rural areas, interested parties should contact the Business and Cooperative Programs Director, Lad Barney, at (406) 309-3350 or If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit  If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page. USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit   ###   USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.