Durbin Meets with Illinois State Director of USDA Rural Development

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Colleen Callahan, Illinois State Director of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, to discuss Illinois agriculture issues including ethanol and other renewable fuels. Durbin originally recommended Callahan for the post, and she was officially named to the position by President Obama in 2009. 


“Colleen Callahan hails from Peoria county and has been a respected voice for agriculture in the heart of Illinois for more than 30 years,” said Durbin.  “She is an award winning farm broadcaster who remains active in Illinois agriculture and in her community. Over the last two years, she has shown impressive leadership of this important agency and I am glad to have recommended her.”


Rural Development provides financial assistance through guaranteed loans, direct loans and some grant funds to individuals, public bodies, nonprofits, Native American tribes, and cooperatives in rural areas.  Rural Development State Directors provide mission area wide leadership at the state level to the network of nearly 500 field offices in USDA Service Centers.  State Directors coordinate with many local, regional, state and other federal agencies and groups to help provide a starting point to address business, community or housing needs.  State Directors are responsible for delivering Rural Housing Service programs; most of the Rural Business – Cooperative Service programs; the Water and Wastewater Disposal Program of the Rural Utilities Service; and outreach and assistance on programs delivered directly from national headquarters.