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Rural Development

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.

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.