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Rural Development Innovation Center

Share your ideas to improve program delivery in your town.

What can USDA do differently to serve your rural community?

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Secretary Perdue created the Rural Development Innovation Center to identify and develop new tools to better serve rural communities in achieving prosperity.

The Innovation Center is hard-wired into USDA’s structure with a mission to identify best practices and bring continuous improvement in program delivery to enhance the quality of life in rural communities. The Center works to transform rural communities through strategic partnerships, data analytics and evaluation, and regulatory reform.

This forum was created for you – our rural customer. Please join the conversation and share your ideas about effective actions that will make rural communities stronger.

Best Practices

The Innovation Center supports a forward-focused agency that is able to supply local leaders with new and fresh solutions. One method the Center uses to accomplish this goal is to identify best practices that highlight new approaches in program delivery to be replicated in communities throughout rural America.

Three best practices that can be replicated in your town:

Wimbledon rural development facility

Building on Existing Strengths in Wimbledon, North Dakota

Through partnerships with community members, local organizations, and one innovative USDA program, the people of Wimbledon, N.D. are improving their quality of life by investing in themselves.

Rural development ground breaking in Zuni Pueblo, N.M.

Partnership Helps Improve the Quality of Life in Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico

Families in the rural village of Zuni Pueblo, N.M. no longer have to drive more than 40 miles for food and other supplies.

A Habitat and USDA Rural Development partnership home

Habitat and USDA Team Up to Create First-generation Homeowners in Southwest Oregon

Habitat partnered with USDA Rural Development to help a family in Oregon get a mortgage.


The Innovation Center evaluates the outcomes USDA programs generate and how these programs and services have truly helped to transform a rural community. To do this, the Center focuses its efforts across Rural Development to support the priorities of Infrastructure, Partnerships, and Innovation (IPI).

Key resources that support these priorities are:


Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants Program

The Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants Program can be used to purchase and install equipment that uses broadband to help rural communities remotely connect to educational and health care services. To learn more about this program, contact USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program staff at



Community Connect Grants

Community Connect Grants help rural communities extend access where broadband service is least likely to be commercially available and makes a tremendous difference in the quality of life for people and businesses. To learn more about this program, contact your local state General Field Representative contact or email



Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program

The Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program can be used to build, renovate, equip, or rehabilitate essential community facilities such as hospitals, mental health clinics, withdrawal centers, educational facilities, and more. To learn more about this program, contact your local state USDA Rural Development office.

Beyond USDA, Secretary Perdue chaired an interagency task force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, which was created by President Donald J. Trump in 2017. In January 2018, the Task Force released a series of recommendations to increase rural prosperity and improve quality of life in rural America.

Additional Resources


Key Publications and Related Program Information

Rural Development publishes a wide variety of publication including brochures, fact sheets, reports and more.

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Rural Development State Contacts

Contact your local office for more information on Rural Development programs and services.

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