In a ceremony on September 20, Anita Dunning, USDA Rural Development Missouri State Director, presented a Certificate of Appreciation along with a $15,571 grant to Boonslick Industries, Inc. The funds will be used to purchase equipment to complete a technology upgrade and implement Therap Services, which includes a new phone system, time clock and server equipment. The workshop serves Cooper County as well as many surrounding counties and employs 64 people.
Thursday’s ceremony took place amidst the clanking of bottles and the hum of machinery as workers went about their normal recycling routine. Opening remarks were made by Area III Director Kelly Gregory. Boonslick Executive Director Jennifer Waibel noted recent struggles and the perfect timing of the funds, “After the fire there was a whole new level of need. We are so appreciative for the grant.” Dunning affirmed the importance of the Boonslick mission, “This is more than just a retail shop. It is community involvement.”
Admittedly chances were slim that the funding would be approved. Of the 860 million in USDA aid, only about 5% is funded through grants. That is where Recycling Manager Kit Brewer proved to be the indispensable man by managing the grant process from beginning to end.
Funding was made available through a recent investment program spearheaded by Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and approved through executive order of President Obama mandating an increased focus on rural development issues. Representatives from the offices of Claire McCaskill, Vicky Hartzler, Roy Blount and Sam Graves were in attendance. It was a good day for Boonslick Industries and the Boonville community at large.