Responsible for all matters pertaining to USDA agriculture, rural development programs, rural renewable energy development, research and extension, food safety, and conservation programs.
Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committee
Maintain Funding for USDA Rural Development Programs
Urge your members of Congress to support U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development programs throughout the FY 2020 appropriations process by meeting or exceeding FY 2019 funding levels. USDA Rural Development programs provide critical investments to key rural county priorities.
USDA programs are funded through the annual Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. USDA Rural Development operates a broad range of grant and loan programs critical to rural counties. These programs include grant funding and loan financing for water/wastewater infrastructure, community facilities, broadband, electric, telephone, housing, renewable energy and business development.
In February 2019 Congress passed and the president signed an omnibus spending package that included over $23 billion in total discretionary funding authority for USDA, including over $3 billion for USDA’s Rural Development Programs, an increase of $2.1 billion over FY 2018 funding levels. Additionally, the omnibus includes $550 million in appropriated funding for a rural broadband pilot program, administered by the USDA, to target areas that currently lack broadband access.
Counties encourage Congress to maintain funding levels at or above FY 2019 levels as it considers appropriations for FY 2020.
Below is a breakdown of FY 2019 funding levels:
Under the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS):USDA Rural Development Policy Brief.pdf
Support Key County Priorities as Congress Implements the 2018 Farm Bill
Urge your members of Congress to support county priorities throughout the implementation of the 2018 farm bill. Programs throughout the farm bill help counties make critical investments in infrastructure, economic development, nutrition and conservation. Preserving these programs is vital to the strength of our local and national economy.
The legislation, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-334), will expire at the end of FY 2023. NACo testified before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee during the bill’s development, securing authorization of several programs of interest to counties, and continues to work to preserve county priorities.
On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law a five-year reauthorization of the farm bill. The president’s signature comes after a bipartisan group of legislators worked for months to resolve disagreements between the two farm bills passed by the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. The final five-year, $867 billion reauthorization will help support county economies and provide critical investments to rural and underserved communities.
Throughout the farm bill process, county leaders helped draft bill text and amendments to preserve and promote key county priorities. Specifically, the final package creates a new Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) grant program, reinstates the Undersecretary for Rural Development and codifies the interagency Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development.Farm Bill Policy Brief.pdf
Counties and Military Installations 101: Leveraging the Farm Bill to Promote Compatible Land Use and Community Development
Reports & Toolkits |
Jan. 13, 2020
NACo works to preserve local decision making, protect counties from unfunded mandates and preemption and strengthen the federal-state-local partnership.
Reports & Toolkits |
Aug. 2, 2019
The August recess in the federal legislative calendar provides a unique opportunity for county leaders to communicate with members of Congress, demonstrate the impact of your efforts in your communities and advocate for the federal programs that help to strengthen local programs and initiatives.
Join a steering committee and make a difference. Learn more about getting involved in NACo's Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committee:
Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee
Commissioner Palm Beach County, Florida
Commissioner Okeechobee County, Florida
Supervisor Dinwiddie County, Virginia
Supervisor Kings County, California
Commissioner Midland County, Texas
Bob Fox (Agriculture and Food Safety)
Commissioner Renville County, Minnesota
James Schmidt (Rural Development)
Commissioner Lincoln County, South Dakota
Subcommittee Vice Chair
Alexander Barnett (Agriculture and Food Safety)
County Judge/Executive Harrison County, Kentucky
Tony Cherry (Rural Development)
Commissioner Choctaw County, Alabama
County Auditor Pottawattamie County, Iowa
Keith Langenhahn (Agriculture and Food Safety)
Field Services Representative Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin
David Meyer (Agriculture and Food Safety)
Chairman Washington County, Illinois
Lee Patterson (Rural Development)
Commissioner Calhoun County, Alabama