News Release
Release No.STELPRD4021165
ContactDarin Leach515-284-4747
(JULY 2, 2013) USDA STATE LEADERS FACILITATING RURAL LISTENING FORUM IN AUDUBON ON MONDAY, JULY 8TH
Local producers, residents, business owners and community leaders will have opportunity to share thoughts
Des Moines, Iowa, Jul 02, 2013 --

@@Local producers, residents, business owners and community leaders will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about opportunities and challenges in rural Iowa when USDA state leaders visit Audubon on Monday, July 8th.

A rural listening forum will take place starting at 10 a.m. at the Extension Office, 608 Market Street in Audubon.

Scheduled to attend the forum are John Whitaker, State Executive Director for USDA’s Iowa Farm Service Agency (FSA), Jay Mar, State Conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS), and Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa.

The meeting is open to the public.

Today, more than 1.7 million Iowans live in rural communities and areas, and nearly half of the state’s communities have fewer than 500 residents.

What: Rural Listening Forum – facilitated by USDA

When and Where: Monday, July 8th

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Extension Office

608 Market Street

Audubon, Iowa

Contact Information: John Whitaker, Jay Mar and Bill Menner will be available for comments at the event. If you would like to speak with them before the event please contact Darin Leach at (515) 284-4747 (office) or (515) 669-5691 (cell).

Further information on programs available through USDA is available by visiting www.usda.gov.

USDA Rural Development is working with rural communities to create jobs, expand opportunity, encourage innovation and build a strong foundation for the future. The agency currently administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility loan and grant programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents and farmers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

USDA Farm Service Agency provides financial assistance through conservation, commodity and price support programs, farm loans, and disaster assistance programs.  FSA supports all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers through the delivery of farm programs which are overseen by their locally elected County FSA Committee.

USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services’ priorities include technical and financial assistance to help farmers and landowners conserve and protect natural resources. All NRCS assistance is provided on a voluntary basis.

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, 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 Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of 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 has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-

sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.

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