USDA Helped Improve Essential Services for 7 Million Rural Residents in 2017

Contact: Joseph Brooks
(413) 253-4315

Funding Supports Schools, Libraries, Municipal Centers, First Responder Vehicles and Equipment, Other Community Needs

   Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA invested in nearly 400 projects to provide essential services for more than 7 million people in rural areas across the country in Fiscal Year 2017.

   “Partnering with our small towns and cities to support essential services that rural residents need is one way USDA is facilitating prosperity in rural America,” Perdue said. “USDA’s investments will help communities significantly improve their schools, hospitals and public safety facilities, and improve the quality of life.”

   USDA infused $1.5 billion into rural areas in 2017 through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program for projects such as schools, libraries, municipal centers, first responder vehicles and equipment, social service buildings, recreational activities and other community needs. These investments are helping nearly 7 million rural residents.

   In Fiscal Year 2017, USDA supported projects in 44 states which includes one project in Connecticut and two in Rhode Island. These projects supported education and public safety by funding two school expansions and one fire engine for rural fire district.

    The Woodstock Academy in Woodstock, Connecticut received a $14 million loan to purchase the nearby Hyde School’s campus. Integrating the Hyde School campus allowed Woodstock Academy to better the serve the rural communities of Eastern Connecticut and to provide additional educational opportunities to their students. This project was highlighted in a USDA Rural Development video success story here.

    The Quest Montessori School in Narragansett, Rhode Island received a $90,000 loan to improve their campus. Quest is a grassroots school founded in 2002 by rural Rhode Island parents looking for a Montessori or other alternative educational environment.

   The Hope Valley Wyoming Fire District serves the communities of Hopkinton and Richmond, Rhode Island. The department received a USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan to purchase a new fire truck to better serve the public safety needs of rural Rhode Island.

   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, which included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic.

   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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit


Last Modified: 01/25/2018