BURLINGTON, VT. >> U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is visiting Burlington to announce a multi-million dollar loan fund that will be used to help Vermonters and small businesses improve energy efficiency.

He will be joined by Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and Gov. Peter Shumlin at the announcement Friday.

The USDA program has supported similar projects in Arkansas and North Carolina.

The project will be carried out by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. Officials say it's the USDA's largest Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program investment.