Karl Elmshaeuser of Ogallala was recently appointed by the United States Department of Agriculture to the position of state director of USDA Rural Development. Before this position with the USDA Elmshaeuser led the West Central Nebraska Development District, an entity which assisted counties and communities access state and federal grant programs for building infrastructure and economic development, for 11 years. During his tenure the West Central Development District received two national awards for innovative programs. He also served on the Nebraska Rural Development Commission, Nebraska Regional Officials Council, and on the National Association of Development Organizations board of directors. The USDA Rural Development program provides loans and grants to help expand economic development and opportunity in rural communities.