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Stakeholders Provide Suggestions on How USDA Can Better Serve Rural America

On Wednesday, USDA Rural Development (RD) Indiana convened a stakeholder outreach meeting to discuss Rural Development priorities for President Obama’s 2013 budget and 2012 Farm Bill.  The meeting was held to provide our agency with valuable input as it develops mission area priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.

Over 50 attendees discussed and shared ideology on how Rural Development can enhance program administration and delivery to ensure that rural communities are able to access the critical programs and resources that Rural Development has to offer.

The discussion focused on three areas:  general topics; programs that help rural communities thrive; and programs that help rural entrepreneurs create economic opportunities.

Topics discussed ranged from automated application processes to agency marketing efforts to more aggressive community planning and follow-up.

The Obama Administration is committed to creating an open and transparent government that promotes public participation and collaboration.  Earlier this year, President Obama signed Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” requiring all federal agencies to review existing regulations and determine which, if any, should be amended, supplemented, or repealed. The Executive Order sets out principles and requirements that promote public participation in government and encourage agencies to coordinate, simplify, reduce costs and promote consistency for businesses and the public.

A summary of the meeting is being submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture’s office.  Additionally, the Office of the Under Secretary for Rural Development will write a summary, containing results for all states, for the White House and USDA’s Office of Budget and Program Analysis that will incorporate feedback received.

Philip Lehmkuhler, USDA Rural Development Indiana State Director, leads the discussion at the July 27th Stakeholder’s Meeting.

Philip Lehmkuhler, USDA Rural Development Indiana State Director, leads the discussion at the July 27th Stakeholder’s Meeting.

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