USDA's Drahota earns certificate

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Storm Lake resident Richard Drahota of USDA Rural Development, Des Moines, successfully completed the 2003 Iowa Commercial Lending School at the Collins Plaza Hotel in Cedar Rapids.

The school is an intense one-week program sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association. The purpose of the IBA Commercial Lending School is to prepare commercial lenders who have not been exposed to formal commercial lending education or lenders who want to broaden their commercial lending knowledge to serve effectively and profitably as commercial loan officers.

This is accomplished by developing a better understanding of the economy and how it affects the lending decision; developing an understanding of how business is structured and how it competes; develop an understanding of the role of company's management and how to analyze and evaluate that management; develop a thorough understanding and application of basic and advanced analytical techniques; and develop a strong understanding of relationship banking to meet and maintain multiple customer financial needs.

Drahota has been with USDA Rural Development for 32 years. He managed the Storm Lake Area office for 18 years before taking a transfer to the state office located in Des Moines.

Drahota works with small businesses and cooperatives, assisting them in financing, start up operations and technical support.

Drahota has been very active in the community development in Northwest Iowa. He is a long time resident of Storm Lake where he lives with his wife, Becki. They have four children and two grandchildren.

The Iowa Bankers Association is the statewide trade association for commercial banks.

Representing 98 percent of the banks in Iowa, the association provides its members with assistance in government relations, communications, marketing, regulatory compliance and education.

USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents.

As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in housing, business development and critical community and technology infrastructure.

Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at