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USDA announces program for rural communities to navigate federal resources

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    USDA announces program for rural communities to navigate federal resources

    On April 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Rural Partners Network (RPN), which will aim to pair federal agencies with rural communities to provide targeted assistance in navigating federal programs. The pilot program will be introduced in communities across 11 states in a two-phased approach and the second cohort will be announced later in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. In announcing the RPN, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack stated, “Rural America is incredibly diverse – economically, racially, culturally and geographically. What makes sense for one community may not for another. The Rural Partners Network will help communities get funding for investments that create long-lasting benefits for their communities, especially those that have been overlooked in the past.”

    USDA is spearheading this collaborative effort between 16 federal agencies, local leaders and residents and announced the following communities as the first pilot cohort for the RPN:

    • Georgia: Emanuel County and City of Twin City Community Network; Ben Hill County and City of Fitzgerald Community Network; and Southwest Georgia Regional Commission Community Network including the counties of Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Seminole, Miller, Mitchell, Terrell, Thomas and Worth
    • Kentucky: Kentucky Highlands Community Network including the counties of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and Whitley; and Fulton County and cities of Fulton, Hickman and Cayce Community Network
    • Mississippi: Washington County Economic Alliance Community Network including the counties of Bolivar, Leflore, Sunflower and Washington; Greater Grenada, Lake District Partnership Community Network including the counties of Grenada and Yalobusha; and North Delta Planning and Development District Community Network including the counties of Coahoma, Quitman and Tunica
    • New Mexico: Southwest New Mexico Council of Government Community Network including the counties of Catron, Grant, Hidalgo, and Luna; Northern New Mexico Pathways Economic Development District Community Network including the counties of Mora, San Miguel, Colfax and Taos; and Mesilla Valley Community Network including the county of Doña Ana.
    • Arizona: San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O'odham Nation and Cocopah Indian Tribe

    Network staff assigned to each of these communities will aim to address the community’s specific needs and build on local assets. The staff will also be responsible for providing takeaways to the Rural Prosperity Interagency Policy Council to assist with policy development.

    Counties support improved coordination of the USDA’s economic development programs at the state, regional and local levels and efforts to strengthen the capacity of rural America.

    On April 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Rural Partners Network (RPN), which will aim to pair federal agencies with rural communities to provide targeted assistance in navigating federal programs.
    2022-04-22
    Blog
    2022-04-22
USDA announces Rural Partners Network to provide targeted assistance to rural communities in navigating federal resources for local economic development The Rural Partners Network’s first pilot cohort will collaborate across 16 federal agencies, local leaders and residents in five states Counties support improved coordination of the USDA’s economic development programs at the state, regional and local levels and efforts to strengthen the capacity of rural America

On April 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Rural Partners Network (RPN), which will aim to pair federal agencies with rural communities to provide targeted assistance in navigating federal programs. The pilot program will be introduced in communities across 11 states in a two-phased approach and the second cohort will be announced later in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. In announcing the RPN, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack stated, “Rural America is incredibly diverse – economically, racially, culturally and geographically. What makes sense for one community may not for another. The Rural Partners Network will help communities get funding for investments that create long-lasting benefits for their communities, especially those that have been overlooked in the past.”

USDA is spearheading this collaborative effort between 16 federal agencies, local leaders and residents and announced the following communities as the first pilot cohort for the RPN:

  • Georgia: Emanuel County and City of Twin City Community Network; Ben Hill County and City of Fitzgerald Community Network; and Southwest Georgia Regional Commission Community Network including the counties of Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Seminole, Miller, Mitchell, Terrell, Thomas and Worth
  • Kentucky: Kentucky Highlands Community Network including the counties of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and Whitley; and Fulton County and cities of Fulton, Hickman and Cayce Community Network
  • Mississippi: Washington County Economic Alliance Community Network including the counties of Bolivar, Leflore, Sunflower and Washington; Greater Grenada, Lake District Partnership Community Network including the counties of Grenada and Yalobusha; and North Delta Planning and Development District Community Network including the counties of Coahoma, Quitman and Tunica
  • New Mexico: Southwest New Mexico Council of Government Community Network including the counties of Catron, Grant, Hidalgo, and Luna; Northern New Mexico Pathways Economic Development District Community Network including the counties of Mora, San Miguel, Colfax and Taos; and Mesilla Valley Community Network including the county of Doña Ana.
  • Arizona: San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O'odham Nation and Cocopah Indian Tribe

Network staff assigned to each of these communities will aim to address the community’s specific needs and build on local assets. The staff will also be responsible for providing takeaways to the Rural Prosperity Interagency Policy Council to assist with policy development.

Counties support improved coordination of the USDA’s economic development programs at the state, regional and local levels and efforts to strengthen the capacity of rural America.

About Aaliyah Nedd (Full Bio)

Associate Legislative Director – Agriculture & Rural Affairs | Immigration Reform Task Force

Aaliyah serves as serves as the associate legislative director supporting NACo’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committees, as well as the Immigration Reform Task Force. She is responsible for providing legislative support for the legislative director, conducting legislative research, as well as writing and editing blog articles.

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