USDA StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity
There's a whole series of success stories in the StrikeForce States - that's why we're trying to expand this opportunity in other states, so we can send the message that USDA is focused not just on places where there has been prosperity recently in rural areas, but also focusing on trying to address the challenge of persistent poverty. - USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack
StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity
StrikeForce in Indian Country
While poverty is a rural, suburban and urban challenge, the reality is that nearly 85 percent of America's persistent poverty counties are in rural areas. USDA's StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity Initiative is part of our commitment to growing economies, increasing investments and creating opportunities in poverty-stricken rural communities. StrikeForce was officially launched in 2010 as a pilot project in persistent poverty areas in rural Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi.
In 2012, StrikeForce efforts expanded into persistent poverty counties in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. In 2013, Secretary Vilsack announced new efforts to bring the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity to Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia. In 2014, Strike Force efforts expanded into Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia. There are now over 700 persistent poverty counties (PDF, 2.2MB), parishes, boroughs, Colonias and tribal reservations in twenty states receiving StrikeForce attention.
Since its inception, StrikeForce has formed over 400 community based partnerships and supported 80,300 projects and opportunities to strengthen America's rural economy.