U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice today announced a new effort led by USDA to transform the way federal agencies partner with rural communities to create economic opportunity.
The USDA-led Rural Partners Network is an all-of-government program that will help rural communities access government resources and funding to create jobs, build infrastructure and support long-term economic stability. The network will launch in selected communities in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, as well as certain tribes within Arizona.
The selected communities in Kentucky include Bell, Clay, Fulton, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and Whitley counties.
“Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA and its federal partners are committed to unlocking the full potential of rural America by investing in its people and the unique visions they have for the places they call home,” Vilsack said. “Rural America is incredibly diverse – economically, racially, culturally and geographically. What makes sense for one community may not for another. The Rural Partners Network will help communities get funding for investments that create long-lasting benefits for their communities, especially those that have been overlooked in the past. By providing one-on-one support to these communities, we can lay the foundation for people to build healthy, successful futures on their own terms.”
The network is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between federal agencies and local leaders and residents. This network is focused on improving social and economic well-being bolstered by existing local partnerships and assets.
Community networks within the selected states will receive individualized support with the expertise to navigate federal programs, build relationships and identify additional resources to promote community-driven solutions.
Today’s announcement is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour, during which Biden administration officials are traveling to dozens of rural communities to talk about the impact of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments as well as Biden’s broader commitment to ensure federal resources reach all communities in rural America.
Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.