More than $20 million in rural development grants were approved in 2013 to help Nebraska businesses.
The USDA programs helped 153 businesses, 75 agricultural producers and four cooperatives during the year.
One of the companies that benefited was Laurel Biocomposite. That firm received a $5 million guaranteed loan to help it get started making products for the plastics industry out of ethanol byproducts.
Other programs helped pay for upgrades to Gothenburg Memorial Hospital and helped a dairy in Hartington produce more dairy products.
More than 100 projects supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency were also approved in Nebraska.