Rural Development

Rural development is a process focused on the economy, communities and people of areas where demographics show a widely dispersed population. Economic and sustainable development is important in non-urbanized areas that typically have a decentralized workforce and are characterized by out-migration. Rural America is largely agricultural, rich in natural resources and uniquely diverse. Regional councils are key players in advancing rural development through innovative and comprehensive strategic planning and alliances with private, public and nonprofit entities.

Rural Development Policy Brief

Rural Development is supported at the federal level largely through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) office of Rural Development (RD). The Farm Bill is  the law that outlines programs and investment within the USDA, and is crucial to supporting the nation’s rural communities, the overall health of the economy, and energy security. The Farm Bill expired in September 2012, and a temporary reauthorization was signed into law in January 2013. Currently the House and the Senate are working on a compromise long-term reauthorization proposal to reconcile each chamber’s versions of the bill. The Rural Development Title (Title VI) provides for important investment in rural communities, and achieving long-term reauthorization is critical to the health of rural economies. More information on Farm Bill reauthorization efforts is available HERE.

NARC Member Case Studies

Rural Development Resources

NARC Resources

Federal Resources

U. S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Commerce

 Non-Profit Resources

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