Share your ideas to improve program delivery in your town.
What can USDA do differently to serve your rural community?
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 regulations management.
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.
Tools for Innovation
Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI)
The Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI) initiative provides free technical assistance for up to two years to help rural towns and regions create and implement economic development plans. USDA’s Innovation Center created the REDI initiative to support recommendations identified in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. The recommendations outline steps to develop the rural economy and support quality of life.
In June 2019, USDA and its partners selected 47 rural communities and regions (PDF, 141 KB) on a competitive basis to receive planning assistance from one of the four partner organizations. The partners are the National Association of Counties Research Foundation, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, McClure Engineering Company, and Purdue University Extension & Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky.
To learn more about this opportunity, download the REDI Fact Sheet (PDF, 123 KB).
e-Connectivity Toolkit: Broadband Resource Guide
The e-Connectivity Toolkit (PDF, 4.3 MB) features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. Each program is organized by customer and project type to help users identify resources that support planning, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects. Resources are available from: Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Forest Service.
OneRD Guaranteed Loan Rule
To improve agency efficiency in program delivery, customer service and program utilization, the Innovation Center is working to streamline and consolidate four Rural Development loan guarantee regulations into a single regulation. Learn more about the OneRD Guaranteed Loan rule.
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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:
Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett shares a few reflections on a year of transformation in the agency through innovation.
Technical assistance providers can help your community better understand the USDA application process from start to finish.
Every child born in the Warm Springs Reservation will benefit from e-Connectivity access, a high-quality education and expanded opportunity.
Contact the Innovation Center
In the News
Innovation at Rural Development
- The Outcome-Based Work of USDA's Innovation Center
- Inside Washington: Anne Hazlett Making Changes on Rural Development
- USDA's Innovation Center Celebrates First Anniversary
- Reflecting on One Year of Innovation at Rural Development
- ASEC Anne Hazlett Marks the One-Year Anniversary of The Innovation Center
- WFED Radio - ASEC Anne Hazlett discusses the USDA Rural Development Innovation Center
- Jacqueline Ponti-Lazaruk Announced as Chief Innovation Officer for Rural Development’s Innovation Center (PDF, 75 KB)
- Rural Development Kicks Off Innovation Month with First-Time National Lender Forum (PDF, 81 KB)
Rural Economic Development and Planning
- USDA Announces 47 Rural Communities and Regions that will Receive Technical Assistance to Help Build Long-Term Economic Growth
- USDA Partners Available to Build Capacity in Rural Areas
- USDA Public-Private Partnership Accepting Technical Assistance Applications for Rural Capacity Building (PDF, 296 KB)
- Iowa Firm Wins Grant to Help Rural Communities with Development Plans
- USDA Partners to Help Rural Leaders Build Strategies to Achieve Prosperity (The Fence Post)
- USDA Seeks Applications for Projects that Support Strategic Economic and Community Development Across Jurisdictions (PDF, 183 KB)
- USDA Invites Applications for Funding to Support Rural Economic Development Planning (PDF, 38 KB)
High Speed Broadband e-Connectivity
- ReConnect Broadband Program Deadline Extended by USDA
- Rural e-Connectivity Toolkit Now Available
- RFD TV Reports on the Release of the Broadband Toolkit
- New USDA 'Toolkit' Features Resources for High-Speed Internet in Rural Areas
- Rural High-Speed Broadband Resource Guide Issued by USDA
- USDA Launches High-Speed Broadband e-Connectivity Resource Guide
- USDA Partners to Help Rural Leaders Build Strategies to Achieve Prosperity
- USDA to Implement Regulatory Reforms to Increase Access to Capital in Rural Areas
- Audio Clip: Strengthening Partnership in Rural Lending Efforts