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rural america

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.

Montana Company Reeling in Protective Masks and Gowns

“You get one life, fish it well.” The slogan of Simms Fishing Products in Bozeman, Mont. reflects their passion for making outstanding fishing gear. Not only is Simms the only wader manufacturer in the country today, they are also proud to offer an entire collection of “Made in the USA” products, designed and constructed by expert anglers in Bozeman.

Educational Opportunities Spread with Broadband Expansion in Rural America

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”

I was reminded of this powerful proverb while preparing for our ReConnect program announcement. As a former teacher, education and its long-reaching benefits are dear to my heart. While joining Deputy Under Secretary Donald “DJ” LaVoy at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, to announce over $55.3 million in ReConnect funding, I thought of the impact this funding would have on the education of our fellow Kentuckians.

On National Rural Health Day, Emergency Healthcare Starts Home

North Dakota is a remarkable agricultural state and very rural. Farms and ranches dominate hundreds of miles of roads, and distances between services can be great. With so much wide-open space, our first responders and medical facilities play critical roles in ensuring the health and safety of our agricultural producers. Recently, their expertise and professionalism saved the life of a coworker and good friend.

In Quiet Remembrance of Patriots and Comrades

War has always been a dirty job. Disproportionately, rural America has shouldered the task. Men and women across towns, farms, and ranches always stepped up in times of crisis. They still do. Voluntary military service by less than one percent of our population merits our gratitude.

USDA’s Economic Research Service and The Farm Foundation Collaborate on Rural Infrastructure Investment Research

The mission of USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food and rural America and produces objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision making. Among its research activities, ERS is conducting research on the impacts of and returns to infrastructure in rural areas, and is cosponsoring a workshop with the Farm Foundation on these issues.

Opioid Crisis Affects All Americans, Rural and Urban

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. That’s three people every hour.

As if the death rate wasn’t bad enough, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, and addiction treatment.