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

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Kentucky Funding Supports School, First Responder Vehicles, and 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.

“Essential services provide safety that rural residents need, and partnering with small towns and cities is one of the many ways Rural Development facilitates economic growth across Kentucky,” said Hilda Legg, Kentucky USDA Rural Development state director. “This funding will improve infrastructure and increase safety by updating critical facilities and purchasing new emergency vehicles.”

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 improve the lives of nearly 7 million rural residents.

Rural Development funds will be used in Kentucky to purchase and renovate five buildings operated by Women Aware, to include new HVACs, roofs, and the replacement of interior walls, plumbing, electrical systems, and windows and doors, as needed. Women Aware serves as the only certified domestic violence program in the McCracken County region and is an emergency shelter for victims of abuse. This project will allow them to increase the number of available beds from 24 to 36 for their domestic violence program. The facility provides services for a rural population of approximately 65,565 in McCracken County.

MMRC Regional Industrial Development Authority, Inc. will use funds to construct a new 34,680 square foot building to serve as a lab/classroom facility which will be leased to the Kentucky Community and Technical College system for the benefit of the Maysville Community and Technical College. The facility will provide needed training in welding, construction, HVAC, auto mechanics, and diesel mechanics and is located in Rowan County.

Two new 2017 police interceptor vehicles will be purchased for the City of Guthrie Police Department in Todd County in order to provide efficient and effective emergency and protection services for a rural population of approximately 1,419.

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