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Rural

A Rural School Adjusts to Serve Its Students During COVID-19

USDA Rural Development provides opportunities to enhance education in rural communities. We can see these investments throughout the state and I’m proud of the contributions that team South Dakota is making to support education initiatives and so much more.

RD Customer’s Cloud-Based Ecommerce Product Helps Farmers Reach New Markets During COVID-19

As the new Acting Administrator for USDA Rural Development’s Rural Housing Service, I know that one of the best parts of working in rural America is the relationships we build with our customers, relationships that often span many years. I was fortunate to see these relationships in action in my most recent role as State Director for Virginia. It’s rewarding to watch a customer’s efforts make an impact on the community they serve. And it’s especially gratifying to see a customer experience dramatic growth and begin serving communities beyond their geographical area. That is the case for the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability (VAFAIRS), specifically, their ecommerce program, Lulus Local Food.

Emergency Telehealth Network Working Together Amid COVID-19

I was excited to see Augusta University Research Institute featured on the local news for the phenomenal work they are accomplishing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Augusta University is using telemedicine equipment that they purchased with a grant from USDA Rural Development to run an emergency telehealth hub in rural Georgia. The hub connected five hospitals to diagnostic and educational experts at Augusta University. The goal is to help Emergency Room doctors access highly trained healthcare professionals by telemedicine and to shorten travel for rural patients to reach care and, ultimately, to improve health-related quality of life.

Homeownership Provides Hope During a Pandemic

As most staff continue to telework, it is important to acknowledge that dependable program delivery is still the norm, and with the same exceptional customer service that Rural Development staff have become known for. Despite COVID-related challenges, the often life-changing programs the agency provides are making an impact on our rural people, businesses, and communities every day.

Wisconsin Telecommunications Cooperatives Step Up to Support E-Learning

Wisconsin students across the state adapted to the new normal with e-Learning studies since the Badger State entered the “Safer at Home” status in late March. If you live in a metro area, you probably didn’t struggle with lack of service or low bandwidth. But in the rural areas, it was a big challenge.

Students and Healthcare Services on Maine’s Island Communities Stay Connected

Maine’s island communities are scattered up and down the coastline, many of them miles out to sea - they’re rural communities carving out a life both in and on the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the distance from the mainland, the educators and healthcare workers in this remote area of the state are dedicated to providing the critical services our island residents depend on and have adapted to the necessary changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the elements of this adaptation has been through the use of telecommunications, and as State Director of USDA Rural Development in Maine, I’m happy our agency has been able to serve as a key partner in bringing this technology to our rural island communities.

Unprecedented Times Leads to Making a Difference in a Small Way by Making Masks for South Dakotans

The captivating landscapes of South Dakota are still awe inspiring amid the COVID-19 crisis. Equally encouraging are USDA Rural Development employees here in South Dakota who are working to support our customers and continue the delivery of our programs by offering the highest level of customer service during this widespread pandemic.