Progress Report: USDA Investments Make Big Impact for Rural America in 2015
WASHINGTON–Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released a report detailing the tangible results across rural America that stemmed from investments by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development team in local businesses, community infrastructure, housing and more in 2015.
"Over the past seven years, USDA has made record investments in rural America, including housing, infrastructure, business and nutrition, and 2015 was no exception," Vilsack said. "Through our Rural Development agencies alone, USDA was able to support more than 170,000 projects last year, spurring job creation and improving the quality of life for millions of rural Americans. These investments have helped people secure affordable housing and become first-time homeowners, connected America's remote towns with medical providers and business customers via telecommunications, improved critical water and other community facilities, lowered utility costs for residents and businesses through energy efficiency, bolstered local and regional food systems, and created and expanded small businesses. All of this has helped to strengthen local economies for the farmers, families and businesses who call rural America home, and for all Americans who rely on the food, fuel and goods these communities produce."
USDA Rural Development's 2015 Progress Report provides an overview of activities in 2015 that resulted in nearly $30 billion in investments in rural America. The report includes success stories from every state illustrating the many ways USDA helps finance infrastructure improvements and boosts economic development in rural areas. The Progress Report also highlights the success of the Obama Administration's and Secretary Vilsack's place-based initiatives, Promise Zones and StrikeForce, to address rural areas facing significant economic challenges. These initiatives and the emphasis on Community Economic Development (CED) are the cornerstones of USDA's efforts to combat rural poverty and deliver assistance to rural places most in need of the capacity and funding to jump-start or sustain economic development.