About Rural Development

Created to focus primarily on agriculture, USDA has become a strong partner and advocate for rural communities over the past 75 years. With more than 40 programs, Rural Development has successfully invested billions of dollars to spur economic development throughout rural America.

With its long, proven history of serving rural communities, Rural Development was selected to carry out key initiatives within the Recovery Act. To maximize the impact of these initiatives, RD leveraged its existing programs and experienced staff to disburse over $21 billion in loans and grants across rural America. Rural Development deployed these funds, which marked a substantial expansion of the loan portfolio, while maintaining high-quality review and underwriting standards.

In order to efficiently identify the needs of rural communities, RD mobilized its nationwide network of more than 6,000 dedicated field staff to carry out the Recovery Act mission. The Rural Development network is made up of 470 State, area, and field offices that are co-located in the communities they serve, ensuring that funds are accessible to the rural communities with the highest levels of need. As a result, potential borrowers and grantees are able to explore options for funding with a loan officer or engineer who understands the unique needs within their community.

To read more about the Rural Development programs that were involved with the ARRA implementation, view the Related Links listed on the left.