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

Contact: JP Pendleton
(202) 309-2983

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 including Montana. Below are examples of Montana projects financed in part through USDA:

  • The Dearborn Fire Service Area based out of Cascade will be building a garage to shelter a newly purchased four-wheel-drive pumper/ladder truck.
  • The City of Choteau will be purchasing street repair equipment.
  • The City of Thompson Falls will be purchasing snow removal equipment to replace vehicles that have been in service for over 25 years.

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: 01/30/2018