Emergency loans are available for farmers in Florence, Forest, Vilas and Iron counties from the July flooding in northern Wisconsin.

Tom Brandt is the Farm Service Agency's Farm Loan Chief. He says the lower interest loans are designed to help farmers recoup losses caused by Mother Nature...

" goes to the actual operators of the farm. You have to be farming to qualify for one of these loans. It's to help them get back on their feet from losses they might have suffered from one of these disasters...."

The head of USDA Rural Development in Wisconsin says the work being done in Rhinelander's downtown is a direct example of federal dollars helping local communities.

Stan Gruszynski was in Rhinelander this week to formally break ground on the nearly $10 million Streetscape project. USDA Rural Development provided a large chunk of the money for the infrastructure work.


An official recently wrote an op-ed piece to drive home the point that many of rural Wisconsin's projects are funded to a large extent by federal funds, followed by the state.

U.S.D.A. Rural Development Director Stan Gruszynski says not much has been made public about how much money U.S.D.A.spends in Wisconsin each year. He says it's between $700 million and $1 billion each year...

USDA Cranberry Purchase Good News For Growers

Nov 26, 2014
James Lake Cranberry Marsh

Cranberry growers are pleased with the news that the USDA will start purchasing millions of pounds of surplus cranberries. 

High yields have driven prices down to as low as 10 to 19 cents a pound for processed fruit.

Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association Director Tom Lochner says at that price growers can’t break even.

 “It’s been declining.  We’ve seen the downward pressure on grower returns for three or four years now.  So hopefully we’ve reached the bottom and we’ll start to see signs that things are improving.”

The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council has picked up a federal grant to help promote financial literacy and to help tribal  entrepreneurs get businesses started.

Jeff Muse is a Deputy Director at the Council. The USDA competitive grant is for just under $100,000....

"....the money is used to work with individual tribes and also tribal members for education purposed in financial literacy and to be support for tribal members who may want to start up their own business...."

June is home ownership month.  U.S.D.A.'s state Rural Development Director says most people don't realize the impact home ownership has on the rural economies.
Director Stan Gruszynski says Rural Development will back loans for people wanting a home...

" it's important to understand that to keep our economy going and to insure that our rural communities are healthy and vibrant, we have to focus on the housing market and make sure people have safe, affordable housing and they can afford to get into that housing...."


Rhinelander was selected as one of 49 communities across the U.S. as a national Earth Day recepient by the Department of Agriculture. As part of the designation, the city received a total of $3.7 million in grant and lower-interest loans to upgrade sewer and storm water systems.

USDA Rural Development State Director Stan Gruszynski presented Mayor Dick Johns with an award recognizing the city's initiative toward improving water quality...

A federal grant to fund the underground infrastructure along downtown Rhinelander streets looked dead as of last week, but it appears to be back on again after a meeting Monday night.

The city weeks ago was given positive indications it would get $1.6 million dollars but there was a hitch: the work had to commence next year. City officials and Downtown Rhinelander, Incorporated officials want to do the work, but felt the timeline was too short to have the details worked out to do the job successfully.