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Rural

October is National Co-Op Month

Happy National Co-Op Month! It’s reason to celebrate because in America there are more than 40,000 cooperatives of all types, supporting jobs that provide more than $25 billion in wages. According to a study by the University of Wisconsin (PDF, 2.7 MB), funded in part by USDA, cooperatives have an estimated 350 million members. (Many people belong to more than one cooperative.)

Improving Dental Health in Central Maine

A standing-room-only crowd packed into a recent open house celebrating the new facility for Waterville Community Dental in Kennebec County, Maine. The overflowing room was a perfect indication of the immense level of community support for the clinic’s important services and mission. Waterville Community Dental’s small and dedicated staff serve nearly 4,000 patients from 11 surrounding rural counties annually. Seventy-five percent of these patients are children.

Reflecting on One Year of Innovation at Rural Development

Last year, Secretary Perdue created the Rural Development Innovation Center, a team devoted to partnership development, regulatory reform, data analysis, and risk management. With a mission of coordinating resources and providing creative solutions for our rural customer, the Innovation Center is designed to hard wire innovation into our program delivery. In recognition of the Innovation Center’s first anniversary, I’d like to share a few reflections on a year of transformation in Rural Development through innovation.

e-Connectivity: A Foundation for Rural Prosperity

In small towns from Maine to California, access to reliable, high-speed internet is a foundation for rural prosperity. From quality health care to advanced education and precision ag technology at the local farm equipment dealer, e-connectivity is a lifeline to the modern economy. And, yet we know that a significant number of rural Americans are not connected.

After at Least Five Decades of Growth, High-Income Countries are Now Investing Less in Public Agricultural R&D

Governments in high-income countries are spending less on agricultural research. A new report from USDA’s Economic Research Service reviews long-term trends in public agricultural research and development (R&D) investment by high-income countries and examines how these investments have contributed to economic growth.

USDA Disaster Program Helps Texas Farmer Recover from Hurricane Losses

Doug Harper, a fifth-generation farmer, moved to the Texas Gulf Coast area in 2012, looking forward to the potential for increasing corn, cotton, milo, and watermelon production there.

Texas farmer Doug Harper comes from a long line of farmers. Growing up in the business, he knows there are always ups and downs, and the importance of insurance coverage to prevent against the “what ifs?”

A Source of Hope, Investing in Prosperity

In the early 2000’s, shopping malls were often a pinnacle of growth and prosperity in rural America. In the recent years we’ve seen the decline of so many of these rural establishments. These shopping centers were once a sign of success in rural communities, but now sit, falling apart, as disheartening archetypes of a dying era.