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Rural Development

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.

Farm to School Success in Hawaii

It takes the right amount of water and sunlight for seeds to grow into a thriving garden. So too, it takes the right mix of factors to integrate local foods into communities. Some of these factors include committed stakeholders, planning, collaboration, and financial resources.

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.

USDA Agencies Worked Together to Provide Summer Meals to Rural Communities

Food is an important thing that everyone thinks about. For those who are fortunate, when they’re hungry, food is easily available to them. Unfortunately, millions of students during the summer don’t have the privilege of knowing where their next meal is coming from because they no longer receive the meals they relied on throughout the school year. Without proper nutrition year round, it can be difficult for kids to learn, grow, and thrive.

Gleaning Fills Summertime Food Banks

People and families in need often visit food banks and pantries to get basic provisions free of charge. Unfortunately, donations often decrease during the summer months. The nationwide campaign Feds Feed Families was created to help food banks and pantries stay stocked.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Anne Hazlett

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development.

Secretary Perdue Affirms USDA’s Commitment to Indian Country

Within a month of his start, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue followed through on his promise to Indian Country to visit tribal leaders. Joining tribal representatives, Senators Rounds and Thune, and Congresswoman Noem at Oglala Lakota College’s Rapid City Extension Center, Secretary Perdue aimed to learn more about the topics significant to both tribal nations and colleges in South Dakota. When the meeting closed, one thought was clear: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stands ready to partner with tribal nations in their pursuits.