At Team Midwest, we are dedicated to providing the services you need to succeed in today’s world. We are fighting against the digital divide to help eliminate geography as an obstacle in delivering electricity and telecommunications, such as broadband. In addition to building new infrastructure and creating access, we are working with government officials to ensure the needs of rural Americans are heard and met.
On Saturday, May 6, 2017, our President and CEO, Bob Hance, testified before the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee at a hearing titled, “Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: Perspectives on the 2018 Farm Bill from Michigan.” The Farm Bill is critical for rural economic development and representatives from a variety of industries were invited to provide input.
Bob’s testimony focused on the direct impact of the Farm Bill and the vital role played by the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The RUS helps build and improve infrastructure for water and waste treatment, electric power and telecommunications. We are currently utilizing the RUS Smart Grid Loan to finance the smart grid/broadband project.
“We are changing the landscape of opportunity for rural Michigan, affording the opportunity for our members to participate in the digital space just like their urban counterparts. This means access to healthcare, education and jobs,” stated Bob.
Other vital RUS programs include the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDLEG) and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and in his testimony, Bob provided examples of how these programs have helped create jobs and establish sustainable energy solutions in Michigan.
As we strive to achieve our vision of building vibrant, relevant and sustainable rural communities, we will continue to provide expertise and serve as your voice on the local, state and national level.