August 31, 2022

The Missouri State Fair in Sedalia was a big success, 2 weeks of food, fun, exhibits, music, and livestock. My staff from USDA Rural Development enjoyed meeting people at the fair and talking to them about the many programs that are available. We had a good turnout at our booth in the Agricultural building and enjoyed participating in such a fun, family friendly event. Although the booth with the roasted nuts that was in the Ag building made it hard not to be hungry, that smell filled the building every time they roasted another batch.

The fair was a reminder of why we work for USDA Rural Development, it is right there in the name, Rural Development. Rural Missouri is important to us because it is our home. We strive to use our programs to make sure that the citizens of rural communities get the same opportunities as anyone else.

One such program is Emergency Rural Health Care Grants, with which USDA Rural Development promotes a healthy community and environment to make sure rural Missourians have access to the health care they need. The grants support the ability of rural communities to provide health care to the people and places in our state that have limited access. In August 2021, the USDA created the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants program through the American Rescue Plan Act. This program helps rural health care facilities expand access to health care services and nutrition assistance.

These investments help rural hospitals and health care providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing to administer COVID-19 vaccines and testing, build or renovate facilities, and purchase medical supplies. They also help regional partnerships, public bodies, and non-profits solve regional rural health care problems and build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic. For example, some recent Emergency Rural Health Care Grants we awarded were given to:

Washington County Memorial Hospital in Potosi will use over $250,000 to assist with increased expenses due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be used to increase capacity and provide medical supplies in correlation with the pandemic, support immediate healthcare needs by increasing telehealth capabilities and to prepare for and assist in future pandemic events.

Golden Valley Memorial Hospital District in Clinton will use $1,000,000 to purchase and install a new air handler and make associated ductwork repairs. During the COVID-19 pandemic the hospital increased exhaust to facilitate more rooms having negative air pressure, added exhaust fans to room windows to expel air outdoors, and purchased 17 portable HEPA filtration systems to dilute air contaminants in patient rooms. These additions have maxed out the hospital's current air handler. Currently, the system provides only one and one-half air changes per hour, and the current standards require six air changes per hour.

Essential community infrastructure is key to ensuring that people living in rural areas have access to resources and services that allow them to enjoy a high quality of life. With those resources available, rural Missouri communities can thrive.

Plan to join us for USDA- Rural Development ReConnect, Round Four - Broadband Funding Workshop on Thursday, September 15, 2022 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Location: 701 S Country Club Dr, Jefferson City, MO 65109 (Missouri Farm Bureau Center).

USDA Rural Development will be providing a ReConnect Program funding workshop for the Round 4 application process which will provide over $1 billion in funding for broadband networks. In-depth discussion will be provided regarding Round 4 eligibilities, funding overviews and in-depth application process. Rural Development is providing this technical assistance to inform potential applicants about funding requirements and provide opportunity to ask questions toward submission of a complete and competitive proposal.

Rural Development staff live and work in the very communities they serve. Currently we are looking for a Civil Engineer to join our team. Duties include:

Advises and consults with private groups, public bodies, and state and/or Federal agencies on the civil engineering aspects of projects financed by loan and grant programs.

Provides technical guidance for project eligibility and priority.

Reviews and concurs with Agreements for Engineering Services, construction project preliminary plans, drawings, designs, specifications, and cost estimates.

Works with staff, applicants, and their consultants with respect to the suitability of proposed Preliminary Engineering Reports (PER) as well as other documents associated with applications for funding and projects approved for funding.

Prepares procedures for use by staff for carrying out engineering and related program activities and for training purposes.

Interested candidates should submit their resume by email to If you have questions, please contact 573-876-9325.

From one neighbor to another, let us know if you need us. Always feel free to reach out to us at Rural Development by visiting our website, emailing us at, or calling us at (573) 876-0976 to get more information on any of USDA Rural Development’s programs.

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 and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.