Wisconsin United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto announced today that 47 rural communities and regions that will receive technical assistance to help create and implement long-term economic development plans.
“USDA and its partners recognize that rural communities need support to build their capacity to create and implement economic development plans,” Frassetto said. “Our staff stands ready to support Wood County in their planning efforts that will ultimately lead to long-term economic prosperity and enhanced quality of life throughout their region.”
USDA is providing the assistance through an initiative called Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI). USDA’s Innovation Center created REDI to support recommendations identified in the Report to the President from the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.
In Wisconsin, Wood County will be working with Purdue University Extension and Community & Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky to implement a county-wide economic development plan.
Each of the 47 communities and regions will be paired with one of four partner organizations that will provide free technical assistance for up to two years to help rural towns and regions create and implement economic development plans. USDA awarded $1.2 million in cooperative agreements to these partners in September 2018. The agreements will help the partners finance the free technical assistance.
The partners are the National Association of Counties Research Foundation, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, McClure Engineering Company, and Purdue University Extension/Community & Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wi.