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USDA StrikeForce: Expanding Partnerships and Opportunity in Rural Communities

Cross posted from The Huffington Post:

Rural Americans face many unique challenges – and every day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides assistance to help grow American agriculture and increase opportunity for rural communities. Unfortunately, 90 percent of America’s persistent poverty counties are in rural America–and we can’t allow these areas to be left behind. This week, USDA is further expanding a program to partner with rural communities and regions on projects they support to promote economic growth. Through this initiative, known as the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity, USDA helps communities leverage their resources to access programs, promote economic development and create more jobs.

In 2010, USDA launched this new effort as a pilot initiative in the states of Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi. In 2011, StrikeForce expanded to the Southwest adding Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. USDA has already partnered with over 400 local community based organizations to promote local and regional development projects. From tackling food insecurity in Arkansas, to improving access to farm programs in Nevada, the StrikeForce initiative has helped us to better serve producers in rural communities. Our new efforts will bring StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity to Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

In an effort to leverage partnerships in poverty-stricken rural areas, we are working to ensure that every community has equal access to USDA programs. This short video provides a look at a few of the partnerships we’ve already created. You can also learn more about getting involved with StrikeForce by visiting www.usda.gov/strikeforce.

4 Responses to “USDA StrikeForce: Expanding Partnerships and Opportunity in Rural Communities”

  1. Michael F Fox says:

    How can one get involved in this program? I am currently in NRCS. I have business, education and health care in my background and currently live in rural SW Idaho.
    Thank you.

  2. Marie Roberts De La Parra says:

    How can our non profit organization become one of your community partners?

  3. Rebecca [USDA Moderator] says:

    Thanks for your inquiries about the USDA StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity!

    @ Michael – Currently, USDA does not have any StrikeForce activities in Idaho, however, the State of Nevada has been engaged in SF activities since FY 2012. To see how you can be engaged in SF locally, you can contact the Nevada SF State Coordinator, Bill Elder, Assistant State Conservationist, at William.elder@nv.usda.gov or at 775-857-8500.

    @ Marie – To get involved with StrikeForce activities in your State, please visit the following link to identify your State Coordinator: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=get-involved-strikeforce.xml

  4. John Biggs says:

    How can architects/engineers/surveyors get involved in the program? I am in North Dakota.

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