Wisconsin Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto announced today that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with rural communities in 22 states to support opportunities for opioid prevention, treatment and recovery.
“The Centers for Disease Control revealed that deaths from drug overdoses in rural areas have now surpassed drug overdose death rates in urban areas,” Frassetto said. “USDA is approaching the opioids misuse crisis with a dedicated urgency because it impacts quality of life, economic opportunity and rural prosperity.”
USDA is investing $10.7 million in 85 projects in 22 states through the Community Facilities program. In Neopit, Wis., the Menominee County Human Services Department is receiving a $150,000 grant to upgrade a facility to serve as a "Safe Place" and a location for a mobile crisis team. The "Safe Place" will be used for community support meetings and human services agencies to provide office hours for weekly and after-hours counseling sessions. It will also will have space for intake assessments and to stabilize individuals seeking opioid misuse treatment.
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. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
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 (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
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 http://www.rd.usda.gov/wi.