“I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds.”– E.M. Tiffany
Sound familiar? I’m sure it does.
It’s the first line of the Future Farmers of America Organization Creed, which is hanging on the wall of my new office as I take on a new role, Nebraska state director for Rural Development with the United States Department of Agriculture. As a 4-H and FFA kid myself, I’m proud to say that USDA RD inhabits the spirit of action and agency in the creed as well as any organization that I’ve ever encountered.
It’s my mission to promote the programs of USDA Rural Development to help support our rural communities and people in our shared success. This is especially important as USDA RD programs provide real, actionable solutions to the challenges facing rural communities today ranging from supply chain challenges to housing affordability, health care access, and so much more. I want to share some of the action-oriented solutions available to you and your community.
First, for those of you hustling to continue the traditions of your family farm and those of you working to start new enterprises, our business programs are for you. Our rural economic development loans and grants can help you build your vision and find creative solutions to supply chain and marketing issues you are facing. For example, our value-added producer grants can help you take your business to the next level. You can be next.
Next, for those of you looking to put down roots or those of you who want to go back home to your hometown in rural Nebraska, our housing programs can help you make it happen. Our single-family housing loans can make homeownership affordable, and reachable for those who may not have the income traditional lenders are looking for. For those of you with roots, but a leaky roof, we’re here for you too. Our home repair program can help you stay in the home and community you love. Your home and family matter to us.
Finally, for everyone in rural Nebraska, our community facilities programs are for you. USDA Rural Development is a catalyst for rural prosperity by investing in water systems, health care, internet access, public safety equipment and so much more. Through grants, loans, and partnerships with local leaders, we provide tools and resources that ensure rural communities and rural people prosper. Mayors, fire chiefs, nonprofit leaders, we want to hear from you. Your community is a place that we want to invest in.
I believe in the future of agriculture. I believe in the future of rural Nebraska. I believe that together with USDA Rural Development, rural communities can continue to, as the FFA creed says, keep the promise of “better days through better ways.” Let’s do it together.