In Washington, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today issued a report highlighting USDA Rural Development’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 investments in job creation, businesses, infrastructure and housing for Americans living in rural communities across the nation. With an active portfolio of more than $176 billion in loans and loan guarantees, Rural Development has provided affordable housing, improved utility infrastructure, and helped businesses and cooperatives create jobs, build rural economies and increase the quality of life in rural areas. . Business and cooperative program funding created or saved more than 53,000 rural jobs in 2012. Rural Development provided slightly more than $1 billion in Business and Industry loan guarantees, $25.5 million in Rural Business Enterprise grants, $50.3 million in Rural Economic Development loans and grants, $17.5 million in Intermediary Relending Program loans, and $40.4 million in Value Added Producer Grants in 2012.