Bismarck, N.D., May 22, 2014 -- Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development, Doug O’Brien, announced today that Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development state director in North Dakota, was selected to lead the department’s nationwide Community and Economic Development (CED) initiative.
“I have made it a priority to build upon CED efforts to support our mission to improve the quality of life in rural America and expand economic opportunities,” O’Brien said. “Under State Director Schneider’s leadership, he will emphasize the delivery of USDA programs to regions that need our help the most.”
In addition to his role as state director, Schneider will lead a core team of individuals to implement the CED initiative across the country. The goal is to extend the reach of USDA Rural Development by proactively engaging partners and communities. Efforts will be focused on underserved areas, tribal regions and persistent-poverty counties. Through collaboration with the public and private sector, communities can be empowered to build capacity for change at the local level.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has flexible programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers while improving quality of life. With a loan portfolio of $199.3 billion, Rural Development utilizes over 40 programs to address rural America’s diverse and unique needs. For more information, please visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.