Lincoln, Nebraska, Jul 20, 2012 -- USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced the publication of a guide outlining federal funding that is available to help rural communities promote economic development and enhance the quality of life for rural residents.
“Rural communities across the country are working hard to build their economies and provide services to their residents,” Tonsager said during a speech here today at a conference of the National Rural Economic Developers Association. “Creating great places to live, raise families, provide recreational opportunities, and infrastructure for high paying jobs in rural America is very important to the Obama Administration and our efforts at USDA. This publication will provide easy, one-stop access to federal funding sources.”
The publication Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities is a collaborative effort among USDA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. It highlights federal resources rural communities can use to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments modernize infrastructure and provide services to residents. The guide has key information on funding and technical assistance opportunities available from the four agencies, as well as examples of how rural communities across the country have benefitted from federal resources.
A copy of the resource guide is available on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities’ website, www.sustainablecommunities.gov.
Today’s report is a continuation of broader efforts by the Administration to advance the economic security of Americans living in rural areas. Earlier this summer, The White House Rural Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, released Strengthening Rural Communities: Lessons from a Growing Economy, a June 2012 report that coincides with the Council’s one-year anniversary. Last year, the President established the first-ever White House Rural Council, which has been coordinating efforts to improve educational opportunities, provide access to affordable healthcare, and invest in infrastructure while working to streamline and improve the effectiveness of Federal programs serving rural America.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.